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3
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22:00:00
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22:30:00
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Sat, Dec 17
19:30:00
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New York
Sat, Dec 17
20:00:00
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Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
19:30:00
Halifax
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Fri, Dec 30
21:00:00
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Calgary
Sat, Dec 31
21:00:00
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Saskatchewan
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
22:30:00
Philadelphia
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
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Rochester
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Halifax
Albany
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
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Sat, Jan 7
19:30:00
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Sat, Jan 7
22:00:00
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Sun, Jan 8
0:00:00
Calgary
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WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
18:30:00
Albany
Halifax
Fri, Jan 13
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
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Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Halifax
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Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Panther City
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 14
19:30:00
Georgia
Buffalo
Sat, Jan 14
21:00:00
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Calgary
Sat, Jan 14
22:00:00
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Vancouver
Sun, Jan 15
15:00:00
Rochester
New York
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
19:30:00
Buffalo
Rochester
Fri, Jan 20
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
New York
Albany
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
18:00:00
Rochester
Halifax
Fri, Jan 27
19:00:00
Buffalo
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 28
19:30:00
Buffalo
New York
Sat, Jan 28
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Saskatchewan
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
Toronto
Calgary
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Jan 28
22:00:00
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Vancouver
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
21:00:00
Georgia
Colorado
Sat, Feb 4
18:00:00
Calgary
Halifax
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
New York
Toronto
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
Albany
Philadelphia
Sat, Feb 4
19:30:00
Rochester
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Panther City
San Diego
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 4
22:30:00
Colorado
Las Vegas
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
19:30:00
Toronto
Georgia
Fri, Feb 10
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Sat, Feb 11
19:00:00
Halifax
Rochester
Sat, Feb 11
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Feb 11
20:00:00
Vancouver
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
21:00:00
Colorado
Calgary
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Georgia
Toronto
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Las Vegas
Albany
Sat, Feb 18
19:30:00
Philadelphia
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 18
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
13:00:00
New York
Halifax
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
21:00:00
Panther City
Colorado
Fri, Feb 24
22:30:00
Calgary
Las Vegas
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
New York
Rochester
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
Albany
Georgia
Sat, Feb 25
20:00:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
18:30:00
Buffalo
Halifax
Sat, Mar 4
11:30:00
New York
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 4
16:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Rochester
Toronto
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Mar 4
20:00:00
Saskatchewan
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Mar 10
21:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
Sat, Mar 11
19:00:00
Albany
Toronto
Sat, Mar 11
19:30:00
Philadelphia
New York
Sat, Mar 11
20:30:00
San Diego
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 11
22:30:00
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Las Vegas
Sun, Mar 12
16:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Fri, Mar 17
22:00:00
San Diego
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 18
11:00:00
Georgia
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 18
18:00:00
Toronto
Halifax
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Colorado
Buffalo
Sat, Mar 18
20:00:00
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Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
15:00:00
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Rochester
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
20:30:00
San Diego
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
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Albany
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Halifax
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 25
19:30:00
Georgia
New York
Sat, Mar 25
21:30:00
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Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Buffalo
San Diego
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Colorado
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 25
22:30:00
Rochester
Las Vegas
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
20:00:00
New York
Georgia
Fri, Mar 31
21:00:00
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Colorado
Fri, Mar 31
22:00:00
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San Diego
Sat, Apr 1
19:00:00
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Sat, Apr 1
20:00:00
Albany
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
21:30:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
Sun, Apr 2
13:00:00
Georgia
Halifax
Sun, Apr 2
18:00:00
Rochester
Philadelphia
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Albany
Rochester
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Saskatchewan
Georgia
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
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Calgary
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
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Colorado
Sat, Apr 8
22:30:00
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WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
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Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
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Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
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Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
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Albany
Sat, Apr 15
19:30:00
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Buffalo
Sat, Apr 15
21:30:00
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Sat, Apr 15
22:00:00
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Vancouver
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
20:30:00
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Panther City
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18:00:00
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Sat, Apr 22
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Sat, Apr 22
20:00:00
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Sat, Apr 22
21:30:00
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Sat, Apr 22
22:00:00
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Sun, Apr 23
15:00:00
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22
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
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Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
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Albany
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
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Georgia
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
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Sat, Apr 29
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Il Indoor Top 50 Nll Players: #11-15

The 2016 NLL season is almost upon us and Inside Lacrosse is counting down the Top 50 NLL Players on IL Indoor ahead of the start of the National Lacrosse League’s 30th anniversary year on New Year’s Day. Get ready for the new year by previewing players ranked #11-15 by IL staffers Bob Chavez, Marty O’Neill and Stephen Stamp and stay tuned as the top 10 pros in the game today are unveiled in the coming days.

15) Stephan Leblanc (Toronto Rock)

It’s difficult to believe Stephan Leblanc first burst on to the NLL scene as a rookie in 2010.

But here we are, 6 National Lacrosse League seasons and 455 points later, and there’s no question Leblanc is one of the game’s finest snipers. And whether this left-hander out of Dundas, Ontario, is leading the way for the Toronto Rock, the Oakville Rock of Major Series, or Team Canada at the WILC, he’s a force which which to be reckoned.

As was already pointed out, 2015 was a busy year for Leblanc, who established himself from the outset with 36 goals as a rookie. Since, he’s scored more than 30 goals in 4 of his 6 seasons and the production last season, 86 points on 31 goals and 55 assists, helped lead the Rock to the NLL finals.

In the NLL playoffs, he posted 19 points (6-13) in 5 games as Toronto’s goal of winning it all came up just short against Edmonton. Still, Leblanc continued to display the versatility in his game, whether he can be counted on as a secondary line of production, or lead the team as a frontline man as it deals with injuries.

“Leblanc is about as consistent as a guy can be over the last six years for the Rock with points and man games played. Stephan’s size and the way he plays contributes to everyone’s success offensively in Rockland. Of course you can’t be a No. 1 set-up or pick guy without the ability to finish in tight and Leblanc has a soft touch in front of the net which clocks in at around 30 goals per year. Leblanc never stops coming and that work ethic in the trenches has paid off for Toronto and Leblanc. Stephan is a driving force for Rock offensive success and the ultimate complementary player on a top NLL team.” – Marty O’Neill

14) Brodie Merrill (Toronto Rock)

It’s pretty much just gotten to the point where all you have to say is the name, Brodie Merrill.

And when people hear that, they know the conversation is about one of the best all-around players in the game of lacrosse today. Whether it’s putting the clamps down on defense, covering the floor in a few strides in transition or putting the finishing touch on a rush, Merrill’s not only one of the most complete players today, he’s been that for years. Ergo, his name remains high on ILIndoor’s Top 50 list.

Hyperbole isn’t uncommon when it comes to discussion of lacrosse exploits, especially in a setting like this where the subjective nature of “the greatest” is the topic. But with Merrill, a left-hander out of Orangeville, Ontario, it’s no exaggeration.

In the back end, he remains one of the game’s elite defenders with precision footwork and timely checks, be they with the body or stick. But for many, it’s his work in transition that defines Merrill. It’s so effortless, the way he glides across the floor with his head up, waiting and looking for the opportunity to make a decision.

“It would be easy to take Brodie Merrill for granted because he’s been playing at such a consistently high level in the NLL for a decade now. But he’s still the prototype for what a transition player should be. The first job of anyone playing out the back door is to play good defence: Merrill is good enough that he was named the league’s defensive player of the year in 2006, before an award existed for the top transition player, which he has won twice. He still plays excellent defence, he’s still one of the very best loose ball trackers in lacrosse and he still contributes intelligently in the offensive zone when it’s called for.” – Stephen Stamp

13) Rob Hellyer (Toronto Rock)

Ever watch a pot of water come to a boil? At first, the bubbles are tiny and sporadic. But then they start to pick up the pace, more and more bubbles, faster and faster until before you know it, it’s a rolling boil of H2O that no one can touch.

That’s kind of how it’s gone for Rob Hellyer.

The young right-hander out of Lions Head, Ontario, is no stranger to the National Lacrosse League. He first appeared with Toronto in 2011 but over 3 seasons, played in 13 games. Still, you got the sense that something special was on the way.

Hellyer finally got his chance in 2014 with a full time role and did not disappoint, with 79 points over 18 games. And when the 2015 season unfolded, it was all anyone could wonder but my goodness, what took so long?

“Before Hellyer went out with an injury last year and had to miss four games, he was on pace to score 119 points, which would have broken the old single-season record. As it was, he wound up with 90 to set a personal best and continued his evolution into one of the top players in the NLL. Hellyer’s blossoming owes a lot to the patience and talent evaluation skills of Terry Sanderson and the Toronto Rock coaches. They waited through his first three years, in which Hellyer played just 13 games and scored 24 points while he was still of junior age. His fourth year proved their faith in him to be justified when he scored 29 goals and 50 assists. Who knew that would be just a warmup act for the remarkable 2015 season he would have? Hellyer has shown excellent floor vision and precision passing ability, combined with good enough shooting to force teams to respect his shot. It’s a dangerous combination that makes it look like Hellyer will be contributing to Toronto’s offensive success for the long term.” – Stephen Stamp

12) Rhys Duch (Vancouver Stealth)

The argument often centers on quality vs. quantity. But for Rhys Duch, it’s both.

It’s been an amazing 7 National Lacrosse League seasons for the right-hander out of Victoria, B.C. He burst out of the gates with a rookie record 89 points in 2009 and hasn’t slowed down a bit. In 2015, he had career bests of 41 goals and 62 assists for 103 points.

Amazingly, Duch is the first Stealth player to clear the 100-point plateau since Colin Doyle did it in San Jose in 2009, Duch’s rookie season. It helped that the Stealth traded for left-hander Corey Small, pulling some of the defense to his side to clear space for Duch. The offensive ability of Duch has never been in question, but having help like he got with Small and other quality shooters kept opposing defenses honest and that not only helped Duch, it helped the Stealth.

That’s why Duch was able to produce even more than what we’ve come to expect from him. Having Small as a summer teammate will no doubt prove beneficial for the 2016 NLL season as well. Duch scored 75 points for the Victoria Shamrocks in the regular season, then added 34 points in the WLA playoffs before adding 15 points in 6 games to help the Shamrocks win the 2015 Mann Cup.

“Duch has been a mainstay on the Stealth for seven seasons and is an NLL elite player for sure. Since Duch was selected No. 3 overall at the 2008 draft, he has been nothing short of a superstar in every NLL season he has played. This regularity in points generated proves that Vancouver’s offense goes through Duch and that his decision-making skills are strong. Quick feet and a deadly outside shot make Rhys a wanted man by the opposition. Should be interesting to see how Billings and Duch share the spotlight in 2016.” – Marty O’Neill

11) Matt Vinc (Rochester Knighthawks)

Save percentage, goals-against, wins, championships. All of these and more are part of the discussion when it comes to players where they stand among the greats.

They’re also part of the discussion about Matt Vinc, the goalie who many believe is the best in the game today. Of course, it’s all subjective, but what is not subjective is the track record of Vinc. Whether you think he’s the best or not doesn’t really matter because when it comes to the Top 50 in the game today, there’s no doubt Vinc belongs.

Whether it’s textbook form for positioning or athleticism being used to recover and move from post to post, Vinc has it all. He’s been named Goalie of the Year in the National Lacrosse League in 5 of the last 6 seasons and his OLA hardware is an impressive list of MVPs.

With the Rochester Knighthawks, this Hamilton, Ont., native enjoyed one of his better seasons stats-wise in 2015 and considering what he’s done over the years, that’s quite a statement. His .803 save percentage was the second time in 3 seasons he’s been at 80% and his goals-against of 9.62 was just slightly off of his 9.56 of 2014.

“Vinc fits the classic goalie mode of really finding his game in his late 20s. His breakthrough came in 2010, the season he entered at age 27. Starting with that season, Vinc has won five of the last six NLL goalie of the year awards. The debate always exists whether it’s the goalie making the defence look good or vice versa. Since he came to Rochester, there’s little question that it’s both. Vinc and his defenders have found a synergy that has allowed them to consistently allow among the fewest goals in the league. Vinc actually seems to enjoy facing a fairly high quantity of shots, as long as they are coming from spots where he’s comfortable seeing and squaring up to them. But for anyone who would argue that his excellence is attributable primarily to the defensive system in front of him, just watch some of the highlight reel saves he’s made when there have been defensive breakdowns and you’ll change your mind. He’s a hybrid of an angles goalie who takes away shooting spots with an athletic mover when he has to be. It’s a sensational combination.” – Stephen Stamp

Check back to follow the full Inside Lacrosse countdown of the NLL Top 50 Players on IL Indoor.

NLL Top 50: #16-20
NLL Top 50: #21-25

NLL Top 50: #26-30
NLL Top 50: #31-35
NLL Top 50: #36-40
NLL Top 50: #41-45
NLL Top 50: #46-50

NLL