The Toronto Rock have landed the biggest star in the lacrosse world. Owner, president and general manager Jamie Dawick has announced the acquisition of Paul Rabil from the New England Black Wolves in exchange for the Rock’s 4th round pick, 29th overall in the 2016 NLL Draft.
July 1st is the opening day of roster moves and trades for all NLL teams.
The 30-year old rock star of the lax world from Baltimore, Maryland hasn’t played in the National Lacrosse League since suiting up with the Philadelphia Wings in 2013. Rabil has been on New England’s holdout list, but Dawick is optimistic he will play with the Rock in 2017.
“I have heard some rumblings that he is interested in coming back and playing in our league,” said Dawick. “He’s in the prime of his lacrosse career and we have some guys in our locker room that he is close with. I am going to do everything I can to get him in a Toronto Rock uniform in 2017.”
Rabil is a dynamic lacrosse player and during his previous five seasons in the NLL, he scored 161 points in 68 games with the Stealth franchise (Washington and San Jose) and Philadelphia. Playing a transition role, his speed and athleticism brought something unique to those team’s toolboxes. It’s something the Rock are very familiar with having played against Rabil’s Stealth teams in back to back Champion’s Cup finals in 2010 and 2011, with the Rock and Stealth each winning once.
“He is just a freak. He’s an unbelievable athlete with a high lacrosse IQ and he’s a tough guy to play against because he can do so many different things well,” explained Dawick. “It doesn’t concern me that he hasn’t played in the NLL in a few years, I believe he can be an impact player.”
There is no bigger name when taking a look across the game’s landscape. Rabil has almost 68,000 followers on Twitter, 80,000 likes on Facebook and is dominating lacrosse’s digital world. He launched the Paul Rabil Experience, an interactive online lacrosse camp, over a year ago and players of all age and skill levels can learn from the former Johns Hopkins Blue Jays great through film and direct interaction with Rabil himself.
“His presence is important for the league. He is known as an American field lacrosse player but he is a star up here too and the Canadian kids look up to him. He will be a great draw for lacrosse fans to come and see him play the NLL game. He can do some spectacular things that will be something special for our fans to watch,” said Dawick.
At the collegiate level, Rabil was named a first team All-American in three of his four years at Hopkins. He was also a member of two NCAA championship teams in 2005 and 2007. Following his NCAA career, Rabil was selected 2nd overall in the 2008 NLL Draft by the Stealth.