IL Indoor counting down the league’s best pros as 2015 NLL season looms
As NLL Face Off Weekend 2015 presented by New Era on January 2-3 looms, IL Indoor continues their annual countdown of the National Lacrosse League’s Top 50 Players. The next installment of the series highlights pros ranked #16-20 among the best laxers on the planet.
IL Indoor staffers Bob Chavez, Stephen Stamp and Marty O’Neill collaborated with their own Top 50 lists and a points system produced the final list. Click the link for each player to read their full analysis on Inside Lacrosse and check back to follow the countdown all the way to No. 1.
“Bold’s playing like he’s had bottled up talent for years and it’s finally been unleashed. That’s pretty much his scenario after being a No. 2 goalie for so long and now that he’s got a starting job, he’s proving himself among the elite keepers in the game. He’s quick, he reacts and sees well and he keeps his composure, which not only allows himself to remain in games mentally when it gets challenging, but it shows the defense in front of him that he’s in control and that confidence affects the rest of his teammates.” – Bob Chavez
“I’m disappointed that Benesch is only at No. 19 this 2015 NLL preseason. I expected he would tear it up last year in Buffalo but instead it took time for Benesch to fit into the pecking order on Buffalo’s left side and it cost Benesch his regular point total. Benesch is capable of a 100-point season and is as ‘greasy’ as they get in rebound or corner situations where the ball is 50/50 and he’s around it. Ryan is also a wonderful playmaker and deadly shooter in traffic. Benesch is a top point producer in the last 5 NLL seasons and this year should be his best yet.” – Marty O’Neill
“Adam Jones was on pace for a 50-goal season last year until injury felled him. I personally felt Jones was the league MVP when he went down. Just a few years into his career I see Adam as a future superstar in the NLL with his deft scoring touch. Jones is a leader and has stepped out from JGJr’s shadow to add to that dimension and will for years to come. Jones will hurt you from inside or outside and racks up some of the prettiest goals you’ll ever see. If Adam can stay healthy, the NLL is his oyster.” – Marty O’Neill
“Hall moved back to forward last year from the transition role he had been playing and promptly led the Wings in scoring with 34 goals and 42 assists. He’s quick and agile with good hands and floor vision. His versatility is highly useful in today’s NLL. He can run the offense for you, play off ball or come out the back door and create transition chances. Hall seems to be comfortable in whatever role a team asks of him.” – Stephen Stamp
“It’s difficult, even impossible, to not respect the game that Dhane Smith brings to the barn every night. Even if you’re an opponent. He’s crafty and smart, competitive and graceful in the ways he beats you. He’s got the grit to battle for the little things that make big differences for himself and teammates and the composure to not panic when the game is on the line. He’s a dream teammate and a nightmare for opponents. Does it get any more complete than that?” – Bob Chavez
NLL Top 50 Players: #1 Cody Jamieson
NLL Top 50 Players: #2 Shawn Evans
NLL Top 50 Players: #3 Kyle Rubisch
NLL Top 50 Players: #4 Garrett Billings
NLL Top 50 Players: #5 Curtis Dickson
NLL Top 50 Players: #6 Matt Vinc
NLL Top 50 Players: #7 Jeff Shattler
NLL Top 50 Players: #8 Rhys Duch
NLL Top 50 Players: #9 Chris Corbeil
NLL Top 50 Players: #10 John Grant, Jr.
NLL Top 50 Players: #11-15
NLL Top 50 Players: #16-20
NLL Top 50 Players: #21-30
NLL Top 50 Players: #31-40
NLL Top 50 Players: #41-50