The Vancouver Stealth and New England Black Wolves have announced a trade with the Stealth acquiring Garrett Billings from the Black Wolves in exchange for forward Tyler Digby and a second-round selection in the 2017 NLL Draft, pending league approval.
In Billings, Vancouver adds the first player in the National Lacrosse League’s history to record three consecutive 100-point seasons to an offense that scored 211 goals in 2015. That offense already includes Rhys Duch (41 goals, 62 assists, 103 points in 2015), Corey Small (32 goals, 43 assists, 75 points in 2015), Logan Schuss (22 goals, 44 assists, 66 points in 2015), and Joel McCready (30 goals, 21 assists, 51 points in 2015).
“Garrett brings great leadership to the offense. His lacrosse IQ is a tremendous asset for us. He is always looking to make his teammates better and puts them in great situations to score,” said Stealth Head Coach Dan Perreault.
Billings is a Langley native who played for Burnaby in the BC Junior A Lacrosse League, where he won two Minto Cups (2004 and 2005); and Langley in the Western Lacrosse Association, where he led the team to a Mann Cup appearance (2012). He will also be a prominent member of the Stealth’s community outreach, bringing with him experience in connecting with young lacrosse fans.
“Adding someone of Garrett’s caliber to an already solid offensive unit is huge for us. He brings a different dimension to the weapons we already have and the fact that he is a local player is fantastic. He is a familiar face to the public and we are excited to show him off to the community he grew up in,” said Stealth President and General Manager Doug Locker.
Billings joined New England in 2015 in a mid-season trade with Toronto and appeared in 8 games, registering 5 goals, 31 assists for a total of 36 points.
“I could not be more excited for this opportunity to join the Stealth, and I know my family is equally happy to drive just a few minutes down the road and watch me play. Looking at this year’s roster, I am joining a very deep team with some great players, and with that comes great expectations. There is some pressure on me to perform well and I am looking forward to the challenge,” said Billings.
Billings was a finalist for the leagues’ Most Valuable Player in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and has been the recipient of the league’s Sportsmanship Award in 2013 and 2014. He was also named to the NLL’s First All-Star team in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
In exchange for Billings, Vancouver sent Digby and a second round draft pick to New England. Digby just completed his second season in the NLL compiling 38 goals, 36 assists for 74 points. He was a runner-up for NLL Rookie of the Year in 2014. The 6-foot-3 forward, played in 36 games in two seasons with Vancouver, recording 132 points on 60 goals and 72 assists. He had a career-best year in 2015, scoring 38 goals and dishing out 36 assists for 74 points.