2016 NLL Predictions

My predictions for the final regular season standings as well as the major annual awards. The “Dark Horse” predictions are my “not as likely but could happen” picks.

Final Standings

East

  1. Rochester
  2. Toronto
  3. Buffalo
  4. Georgia
  5. New England

West

  1. Saskatchewan
  2. Vancouver
  3. Colorado
  4. Calgary

Individual Awards

MVP

Mark MatthewsWinner: Mark Matthews
Short list: Garrett Billings, Ryan Benesch
Dark horse:  Brett Hickey

Goaltender of the Year

Winner: Aaron Bold
Short list: Matt Vinc, Dillon Ward
Dark horse:  Nick Rose

Defensive Player of the Year

Winner: Sid Smith
Short list: Kyle Rubisch, Robert Hope
Dark horse:  Ryan Dilks

Transition Player of the Year

Winner: Karsen Leung
Short list: Joey Cupido, Jordan MacIntosh
Dark horse:  Alex Kedoh Hill

Rookie of the Year

Winner: Wes Berg
Short list: Randy Staats, Lyle Thompson, Jesse King
Dark horse:  Reilly O’Connor

Les Bartley Award

Winner: Dan Perreault
Short list: Mike Hasen
Dark horse:  Glenn Clark

GM of the Year

Winner: Doug Locker
Short list: I’m not sure whether I’d nominate the Swarm GM (whoever that is) if they do well, since I think I could have drafted just as well with that many first round picks in a draft that deep.
Dark horse:  Jamie Dawick

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2016 Preview: West division

A short summary of each team’s offseason moves, where I think they will end up in the standings, who might have a breakout year, and as always, a haiku for each team. I covered the East yesterday, today it’s the West.

RoughnecksCalgary Roughnecks

Roster Changes

Lost Evans, McBride, Pollock, Snider, Moleski, and Veltman and replaced them with Tyler Digby, a bunch of rookies, and a third goaltender. And they only have one person on their practice roster. If the rooks step up big, they could be OK but given their struggles last season with those big-name guys, this could be a scary season for the Roughnecks.

Then again, a few years ago the Roughnecks lost both Tracey Kelusky and Josh Sanderson in the off season and replaced them with Daryl Veltman and a rookie named Curtis Dickson. Everyone thought it would be a disaster but they went on to win the West with the best record in the league.

Look out for

Wes Berg. My pick for ROY. You can’t replace Shawn Evans, but Berg will certainly give it a shot.

Prediction

Fourth in the west.

Haiku

Tyler Digby’s here
Two Carnegies, two Harnetts
Only one de Snoo


MammothColorado Mammoth

Roster Changes

The Mammoth are down Drew Westervelt and Alex Turner (91 points) but Callum Crawford (on pace for 80 last year) should make up for most of that. They also have Ilija Gajic returning; ironically they signed him as a free agent right after cutting Bob Snider, the guy they traded Gajic for. They also released Dan Ball and Ian Hawksbee and lost Cam Flint and Tyler Codron to injury. John Gallant, the only remaining original Mammoth, didn’t play much last season so his retirement won’t have a huge impact. They did sign Greg Downing from the Swarm and added a group of rookies.

Look out for

Ilija Gajic. He and Joey Cupido will make a pretty awesome transition team.

Prediction

Third in the west

Haiku

No more Westervelt
But added Callum Crawford
And Ilija is back


RushSaskatchewan Rush

Roster Changes

Same team as last year, plus Curtis Knight. The west is theirs to lose. Not much more to say than that.

Look out for

Ben McIntosh was third on the team in scoring last year but I can see him leaping over Robert Church into second. Not sure he’ll surpass Mark Matthews though.

Prediction

First in the west

Haiku

Curtis Knight is back
Great O, great D, best goalie
Can the Rush repeat?


StealthVancouver Stealth

Roster Changes

Lost Digby but added Billings. Added Beers, Moleski, Cornwall, and Hawksbee. Lost Hass and Rory Smith but only temporarily. So far, the most improved team in the league. But they also lost Tyler Richards. Eric Penney has played 346 minutes in his career with a GAA of almost 15. Chris Levis hasn’t played an NLL game since January 25, 2013 – almost three years. If the goaltending doesn’t pan out, they may need to score 16 goals a game to have any chance of success.

The Stealth had 5 guys named Tyler on their team last season, but they’re starting 2016 with only one. Can they survive?

Look out for

Garrett Billings. Hardly an out-on-a-limb prediction, but 2015 was very un-Billings-like. With extra recovery and practice time plus playing in his home town with Duch, Schuss, Small, and McCready I think Billings will be back to his Toronto Rock level of dominance.

Prediction

Second in the west.

Haiku

Billings has come home
Stealth have rebuilt the defense
But Richards is gone

2016 Preview: East division

A short summary of each team’s offseason moves, where I think they will end up in the standings, who might have a breakout year, and as always, a haiku for each team. We’ll start with the East, then cover the West tomorrow.

BanditsBuffalo Bandits

Roster Changes

Obviously the biggest news for the Bandits is the retirement of John Tavares. But with only 32 points in 10 games last year, he wasn’t having nearly the impact on the offense that he used to. Dhane Smith and Ryan Benesch are the anchors of that offense now. They did add Daryl Veltman, who averaged 53 points a year over his five years in Calgary.

Andrew Watt is injured, Derek Suddons is in New England, David Brock is on the practice roster, and Chad Culp is suspended for one game. The Bandits have four rookies on their roster.

Look out for

Smith and Benesch already make a formidable scoring combo, but adding Daryl Veltman will give them another weapon. He had somewhat limited playing time being behind Evans, Shattler, Dickson, and Dobbie but in Buffalo, Veltman could see a jump in both his playing time and numbers.

Prediction

Third in the east.

Haiku

Veltman on the O
Is great, but no JT means
Confused Bandits fans


SwarmGeorgia Swarm

Roster Changes

Josh Gillam returns after missing last season, Drew Petkoff signed as a free agent, and the Swarm have a bunch of big-name rookies joining their ranks including first rounders Randy Staats, Jesse King, and Chad Tutton as well as first overall pick Lyle Thompson. None of these four have a single NLL game to their credit but given their pedigrees, I imagine opposing teams are still concerned about facing them. Adding Staats, King, Gillam, and Thompson to an offense that already includes the likes of Johnny Powless, Kiel Matisz, Shayne Jackson, and Lyle’s brother Miles could make for a pretty potent offense.

Only one goalie on the roster for now, but Brodie MacDonald will likely be moved from the PUP list by the time opening day rolls around.

Look out for

Lyle Thompson is the obvious choice, and I’m sure he’ll have a great season. But at the Rock / Swarm preseason game in December, I heard the name Randy Staats an awful lot as well. Either one of these guys is my choice for the Swarm. Or Jesse King.

Prediction

Fourth in east but if I had to pick one NLL team to be the dark horse, it’d be the Swarm.

Haiku

Swarm moved to Georgia
Much warmer in winter, but
Will fans show up?


BlackWolvesNew England Black Wolves

Roster Changes

The Black Wolves pulled off a pretty big trade in getting Kevin Crowley back from Toronto, and then a huge trade in grabbing reigning MVP Shawn Evans. Adding these two guys, even at the expense of losing Garrett Billings, should make your team better, and I think it has. And don’t underestimate the value of a vet defender like Derek Suddons.

But half of the announced Black Wolves roster wasn’t on the team at the end of 2015. Add to that a new coaching staff and a last place finish last year and my expectations aren’t all that high for the Black Wolves. Shawn Evans is one of the game’s best players and has an outstanding work ethic, and so maybe some of that will spur the team on to great things. But someone has to finish last and for me, there’s too much uncertainty here to rank them any higher than that.

The Black Wolves have a new head coach in Glenn Clark, and Hall of Famer Jim Veltman joins Clark and Tracey Kelusky as an assistant coach. Blane Harrison resigned as head coach after last season, saying that his family moved to Michigan and the travel would be too difficult. Makes sense, except for the fact that he’s now an assistant coach with the Georgia Swarm.

Look out for

Quinn Powless only played 3 games last season before an injury ended his season, but he’s back and healthy and could have a big impact this year.

Prediction

Fifth in the east.

Haiku

Glenn Clark is the coach
Crowley’s returned but mostly
Shawn Freaking Evans


KnighthawksRochester Knighthawks

Roster Changes

Not many, but one could be pretty substantial. Brad Self is on the shelf (see what I did there?) as is Angus Goodleaf, Zac Reid is in New England, and Colin Boucher is out. But I’ve heard great things about #2 overall pick Graeme Hossack. Not that the Knighthawks had serious defensive problems, but can you ever have too much defense?

Brandon Styres (the son of owner & GM Curt Styres) is the new backup goaltender but when you’re backing up a workhorse like Matt Vinc, don’t expect to see a lot of floor time.

Look out for

As a defender, Hossack won’t make the score sheet often but he was chosen ahead of guys like Wes Berg and Randy Staats for a reason.

Prediction

First in the east.

Haiku

Not enough Graemes
In this league so thanks to the
Rochester Knighthawks


RockToronto Rock

Roster Changes

Not a lot of changes for the Rock, but one could be either a temporary setback or a significant blow to the offense. Josh Sanderson, coming off a 102-point season (his best in 5 years), has announced that he will not begin the season on the active roster since he’s not physically ready to play. If this lasts just a few weeks before he’s back, I’m sure the Rock offense can step up in his absence. But he’s also hinted that this could mean retirement, in which case the Rock are down 102 points from last season, the vast majority of which were assists.

Kevin Crowley was also returned to New England after effectively being borrowed for the last 1/4 of the season and the playoffs. In return, the Rock got forward Dan Lintner, who I was pretty impressed with in the exhibition game against Colorado in mid-December. At 5’9″, he’s not a big guy but was a dynamic player and when you’re replacing Josh Sanderson (as much as a future hall-of-famer like Sanderson can be “replaced”), you don’t need to be big.

Also joining the offense is Turner Evans, a cousin of Shawn and Scott. Evans is also not a big guy (also 5’9″) but he picked up a couple of goals and a bunch of assists in the pre-season.

Look out for

It wouldn’t be considered a “breakout season”, but Brett Hickey has looked outstanding in the pre-season, scoring 14 goals in the Rock’s three games, putting him on pace for 84 goals in 18 games. This is supremely unlikely, but I think he could certainly break 50 again in the regular season.

Prediction

Second in the east.

Haiku

No Sanderson, but
Hellyer and Hickey ready
to run the offense

2016 NLL: Who’s in, who’s out

All of the roster changes in one article! That’s why you pay the big bucks to read this blog.

Note that these are the changes as of the final roster from last season, so a player might be listed as “In” even if he played for that team during last season.

Buffalo Bandits

In: Matthew Bennett, Tyler Ferreira, Brandon Goodwin, Anthony Malcolm, Daryl Veltman
Out: David Brock, Chad Culp, Derek Suddons, John Tavares, Kurtis Wagar, Andrew Watt
IR: Andrew Watt
PUP:
Holdout:
Practice Roster: David Brock, Tim Edwards, Craig England, Adam Will
Suspended: Chad Culp

The first ever Bandits roster with no Tavares. Culp is only out for one game.


Georgia Swarm

In: Reid Acton, Josh Gillam, Jesse King, Drew Petkoff, Randy Staats, Lyle Thompson, Chad Tutton
Out: Sam Bradman, Greg Downing, Jordan Houtby, Brodie MacDonald, Shane MacDonald, Patrick Miles, Corbyn Tao
IR:
PUP:
Brodie MacDonald, Michael Seidel
Holdout:
Practice Roster:
Thomas Hoggarth, Marcus Holman, Jordan Houtby, Sean Young

The Swarm only have one goalie on their roster for now, but Brodie MacDonald says he’s only out for a short while with a chest cold.


New England Black Wolves

In: Dan Ball, Sheldon Burns, Kevin Crowley, Shawn Evans, Mike MacDonald, Shane MacDonald, Brian Megill, Quinn Powless, John Ranagan, Derek Suddons
Out: Garrett Billings, Mark Cockerton, Matt Crough, Michael Diehl, Craig England, Josh Johnson, Jamie Lincoln, Mike Manley, Mike McNamara, Drew Petkoff
IR: Mike Manley, Mike McNamara, Andrew Suitor
PUP: 
Holdout:
Practice Roster: Phil Caputo, Wenster Green, Zac Reid, Pete Rennie

Wow, huge turnover from the Black Wolves / Wings organization! Who saw that coming?


Rochester Knighthawks

In: Adam Bomberry, Graeme Hossack, Brandon Styres
Out: Colin Boucher, Angus Goodleaf, Zac Reid, Brad Self
IR:
PUP: Angus Goodleaf, Brad Self
Holdout:
Practice Roster: Brad Gillies, Joel Matthews, Derek Searle, Ty Thompson

Can you imagine? An NLL GM signs his own son! Crazy.


Toronto Rock

In: Glen Bryan, Turner Evans, Dan Lintner, Luc Magnan
Out: Kevin Crowley, Damon Edwards, Kevin Ross, Josh Sanderson
IR: Scott Johnston
PUP:  Damon Edwards, Kevin Ross, Josh Sanderson
Holdout:
Practice Roster: Kyle Acquin, Steve Fryer, Jordan Robertson
Protected: Mike Grimes

The loss of Josh Sanderson is huge for the Rock – with respect to JT, likely the biggest loss for any team.


Calgary Roughnecks

In: Tyson Bell, Wesley Berg, Mitch de Snoo, Christian Del Bianco, Tyler Digby, Kellen LeClair, Garrett McIntosh, Reilly O’Connor
Out: Shawn Evans, Andrew McBride, Pete McFetridge, Jeff Moleski, Sean Pollock, Geoff Snider, Daryl Veltman
IR: Pete McFetridge
PUP: 
Holdout:
Practice Roster: Patrick O’Meara

That’s a lotta big names replaced with Tyler Digby and a group of rookies.


Colorado Mammoth

In: Callum Crawford, Jackson Decker, Greg Downing, Ilija Gajic, Jordan Gilles, Josh Sullivan, Bryce Sweeting, Chris Wardle
Out: Dan Ball, Tyler Codron, Cam Flint, Ian Hawksbee, Colton Porter, Alex Turner, Drew Westervelt, Mike Woods
IR: Tyler Codron
PUP:  Cam Flint
Holdout:
Practice Roster: Conrad Chapman, Jamie Lincoln, Mike Woods

Lots of changes in Colorado as well but adding Crawford and Gajic strengthens an already-strong offense.


Saskatchewan Rush

In: Curtis Knight
Out: Matthew Dinsdale, Matt MacGrotty
IR:
PUP:  Matthew Dinsdale
Holdout:
Practice Roster: Doug Buchan, Jakob Doucet, Matt MacGrotty, Dan Taylor

Wow, very little turnover from the defending champs! Who saw that coming?


Vancouver Stealth

In: Matt Beers, Garrett Billings, Travis Cornwall, Jordan Durston, Ian Hawksbee, Brier Jonathan, Chris Levis, Jeff Moleski
Out: Tyler Burton, Tyler Digby, Ilija Gajic, Tyler Hass, Brad Kri, Tyler Richards, Rory Smith, Jarrett Toll
IR: Tyler Hass, Rory Smith
PUP: 
Holdout:
Practice Roster: Keegan Bal, Cody Hagedorn, Jarrett Toll, Ryan Wagner

Possibly the most improved team on paper, except at goaltender. No disrespect to Eric Penney and Chris Levis, but replacing Tyler Richards is a pretty tall order.

Trades revisited: an exercise in hindsight

There was a conversation on the IL Indoor message boards recently about Chris Corbeil and how he was traded to the Rush from the Buffalo Bandits. A Bandits fan was unhappy that Corbeil is now the captain of the reigning champs, while the Bandits got draft picks in return. I looked it up and found that the Bandits didn’t get quite as screwed as it might seem. That was fun so I thought I’d look up a few other trades from a few years ago. Now that we know which players played well, which were busts, and which players were drafted with the picks that were exchanged, we can see how they ended up working out.

I just randomly picked a bunch of trades that involved draft picks. This was not planned, but all but one of these trades involved the Edmonton Rush.

Chris Corbeil for picks

September 9, 2011: The Bandits sent Chris Corbeil to the Rush for a 2nd round pick in 2011 and a 1st round pick in 2012.

Chris Corbeil, hopefully in MovemberFour years after this trade, Corbeil is one of the premiere defenders in the league and as stated above, the captain of the defending champions. Did the Bandits get fleeced? Not at all, as it turned out. The second round pick in 2011 turned out to be Jeremy Thompson, but the Bandits traded the first round pick (3rd overall) to Minnesota who used it to draft Kiel Matisz. In return, the Bandits got Brendan Doran, Shawn Williams, the 5th overall pick, and two later picks. The Bandits drafted Dhane Smith and Carter Bender and traded the other pick to the Rock for Glen Bryan and Jamie Rooney. Doran never played for the Bandits and Bender scored 3 points in 3 games. But Bryan, Rooney, and Williams each played two seasons in Buffalo and Dhane Smith is one of the Bandits top offensive weapons.

Thompson played in 14 games for the Bandits in 2012, scored 9 points, won 46% of 140 face-offs, and was traded to the Rush a year later (see below).

Winner: Corbeil vs. Dhane Smith, two years of Williams, Bryan, and Rooney plus a year of Jeremy Thompson? Calling it for Buffalo.

Jeff Cornwall for picks

February 10, 2012: The Bandits sent Jeff Cornwall to the Rush for a 2nd round pick in 2012 and a 2nd round pick in 2014.

The second round pick that the Bandits got in 2012 was Jordan Critch, who scored five points in five games in 2013 and hasn’t played in the NLL since. The 2014 pick got complicated. In July 2013, the Bandits traded that pick, a second round pick in 2013, and Carter Bender to Colorado for Rory Smith and a 4th rounder in 2015 (Tim Edwards). Colorado ended up trading the pick to Calgary for Jackson Decker, and Calgary drafted Tyson Roe.

The end result for the Bandits: they gave up Jeff Cornwall for 5 games from Critch, a season of Rory Smith, and Tim Edwards. Rory Smith was later sent to the Stealth along with Eric Penney for Nick Weiss and even more draft picks, but that’s as far as I think I want to go with this one.

Winner: Hard to determine since the picks got pretty complicated but I’d go with Edmonton.

Anthony Cosmo for picks

February 16, 2012: The Swarm sent Anthony Cosmo to the Bandits for 1st round picks in 2013 and 2014.

Anthony Cosmo was picked up by the Swarm in the Boston Blazers dispersal draft despite the fact that he told them he wouldn’t play for them. He was true to his word and didn’t play, but they held onto him for part of the 2012 season until the Bandits came calling. The Swarm love those first round draft picks and Buffalo offered some, so Cosmo was sent east. In 2013, their pick from Buffalo turned into the first overall pick, which became Logan Schuss. In 2014, it was #5, Shane MacDonald. Schuss scored 104 points for the Swarm in a year and a half before being traded to Vancouver for Johnny Powless, while MacDonald scored 13 points in 11 games last season and has since been traded to New England for Drew Petkoff.

Winner: Cosmo vs. Schuss + Powless. Another tough call but I have to give this one to the Bandits.

Cousins for Williams

July 25, 2011: The Rush sent Ryan Cousins, Andy Secore, and Alex Kedoh Hill to Rochester for Shawn Williams, Aaron Bold, and a 2nd round pick in 2012.

Shawn WilliamsThe second round pick that the Rush received was traded to the Stealth along with Athan Iannucci for Paul Rabil and a first rounder. The Stealth drafted Justin Pychel with that pick, while the Rush picked Mark Matthews. The Rush later traded Rabil to the Knighthawks for Jarrett Davis. The Knighthawks sent Rabil (and others including Jordan Hall) to the Wings for Paul and Dan Dawson.

Cousins played 10 games for the Knighthawks before retiring. Secore never played again, while Hill played 5 games with the Knighthawks before being sent to the Bandits. Shawn Williams played one season in Edmonton before being sent to Buffalo via Minnesota. Aaron Bold, I believe, is still with the Rush.

Winner: From this trade, the Rush ended up with Aaron Bold and a season of Shawn Williams. Add in the Iannucci deal (below) and the draft pick turned into Mark Matthews. I’d call Edmonton the clear winners here.

Thompson for Wilson

November 14, 2012: The Bandits just love sending players to the Rush. This time, it’s Jeremy Thompson for Aaron Wilson and a 2nd round pick in 2013.

The second round pick was Nick Diachenko, who never played for the Bandits but was picked up as a free agent by the Rock. Thompson is one of the best transition players in the game. Aaron Wilson scored 59 points in a year and a half with the Bandits before being sent to the Knighthawks. He only played 4 games last year and retired in the off-season.

Winner: Rush again but the Bandits did OK here.

Merrill for Nooch

August 9, 2011: The Rush sent Brodie Merrill, Mike McLellan, Dean Hill, the 41st overall pick in 2011, and a 4th round in 2013 to the Wings for Athan Iannucci, Alex Turner, Brodie MacDonald, and 1st round picks in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Athan Iannucci

This was one of the biggest blockbuster trades of the last decade. Merrill had already been named Defender of the Year once and Transition Player of the Year twice, while Iannucci set the single-season goal-scoring record. Not only does his record of 71 still stand, only four people have come within 20 goals of that number in the 7 seasons since.

The picks involved: The 2011 pick ended up in Buffalo (not sure how it got there), who drafted Dwight Bero. The Wings got goalie Don Alton in 2013. Edmonton’s 2012 first rounder went to Buffalo (for Chris Corbeil – see above) and then Minnesota (for the Dhane Smith pick and Shawn Williams – see above) who turned it into Kiel Matisz. The 2013 first rounder was Robert Church. The 2014 pick was sent to the Swarm with Brodie MacDonald for Tyler Carlson, the first overall pick in 2014 (Ben McIntosh) and a second-rounder in 2015 (Dan Taylor).

Merrill had three very good seasons with the Wings before being traded to the Rock. McLellan scored 7 points in 11 games with the Wings in 2013 and hasn’t played in the NLL since. Dean Hill never played with the Wings, but played 40+ games with the Stealth, Mammoth, and Swarm before retiring this past off-season. Alton played one minute in one game, got scored on, and retired with a career GAA of 60.00.

Edmonton’s picks turned into Corbeil, Church, and Tyler Carlson, all of whom are still on the Rush. Alex Turner scored 25 points in two seasons before being traded to the Swarm for a draft pick (later traded to Calgary for Matthew Dinsdale). After scoring 71 in 2008, Nooch never again got within forty goals of that record. He blew out his knee after the 2008 season and hasn’t been the same player since, never scoring more than 29 goals in any season. He refused to report to the Rush and was traded to the Stealth for Paul Rabil and a first rounder, which turned into Mark Matthews.

Winner: Edmonton by a landslide.


The end result from all this analysis: Derek Keenan (who was the Edmonton GM for all of these deals) is pretty good at his job.

Shoutout to John Hoffman (@Corporal763) for his awesome site swarmitup.com, which contains unbelievable detail about every NLL draft.

2016 NLL milestones

A number of teams and players are edging close to various milestones in the 2016 season. Most of them are arbitrary – is 500 career goals significantly different from 499? No, but we humans seem to like nice round numbers. Others are less arbitrary, for example a player passing another player on the all-time scoring list.

Here is a list of the milestones that could be reached during the upcoming season. All of these represent regular season numbers only.

Teams

Wins & losses

Buffalo needs 7 wins to reach 200, while Rochester needs 15.

Colorado’s next loss will be their 100th, while Calgary needs 3.

Toronto needs to win all 9 home games this year to hit 100 wins at home.

Four different teams could hit 50 home losses: Calgary needs 1, Rochester 2, Colorado 6, and Toronto 7.

 

Goals

Buffalo needs 40 goals to get to 4500, and Rochester needs 131 to reach 4000. Calgary and Toronto can both reach 3000 goals; Calgary needs 68 while Toronto needs 42. Colorado is only 4 goals against away from 2500.

 

Players

Goals

Mark Steenhuis (you’ll be reading that name a lot in this article) needs 4 goals to reach the 400 mark.

Four players could reach 300 career goals: Ryan Benesch needs 10, Shawn Evans needs 20, Dane Dobbie needs 30, and Rhys Duch needs 35.

Two players are sure to reach 200 goals and two more are possible. Curtis Dickson needs 2 to reach 200, while Stephen Leblanc needs 5. Cody Jamieson needs 36 and Garrett Billings needs 37.

A bunch of players are within striking distance of 100 goals: Kevin Buchanan and Jordan MacIntosh are both 7 away, Johnny Powless is 10, Cory Conway is 14, Stephen Keogh is 15, and Dhane Smith is 17.

Steenhuis could have 400 goals, 500 assists, and 1300 loose balls by season's end

Assists

Mark Steenhuis (there’s that name again) needs 36 assists to become only the 12th player in NLL history to reach the 500 plateau.

Four players could reach 400: Ryan Benesch needs 13, Callum Crawford 32, Rhys Duch 42, and Garrett Billings needs 54.

Another four could reach 300: Kasey Beirnes is 21 away, Chad Culp 31, and Cody Jamieson and Darryl Veltman both need 37.

Defender Bill Greer only needs one assist to hit 100 for his career, while Cliff Smith and Sandy Chapman are 6 away from the century mark.

 

Points

Only one player has ever reached 1400 career points in the NLL (one guess who that is), and he’s also the only member of the 1500 club, the 1600 club, and the 1700 club. But three different players could hit 1400 this year: John Grant needs 34 points, Colin Doyle needs 61, and Josh Sanderson needs 85.

Dan Dawson needs 78 points to reach 1200 while Mark Steenhuis (!) is 39 away from 900.

Shawn Evans needs 11 to hit 800 points, Ryan Benesch needs 23 to get to 700, Callum Crawford needs 24 for 600, and Stephen Leblanc needs 45 to get to 500.

 

Loose balls

At one point a few years ago, Jim Veltman’s career total of 2224 loosies seemed completely unbreakable. But this season, two players could easily join Veltman and John Tavares (2065) as the only members of the 2000 club, and one more good season from either of them could break the unbreakable record. Geoff Snider needs 143 loose balls to reach 2000 while Brodie Merrill needs 166. Snider has only finished with fewer than 143 once in his career, though that was last year. However, seeing as he’s currently without a team, Snider’s chances are hard to predict. Merrill didn’t reach 166 LBs in three of his last four seasons, but he blew that number away in his first six.

Mark Steenhuis need 65 to reach 1300.

Three players could hit 1100: John Grant needs 32, Josh Sanderson 34, and Scott Self 65.

Shawn Evans is 75 away from an even 1000, and Jeff Shattler needs 78 to reach that mark.

Colin Doyle is only 2 away from 900.

 

Penalty minutes

Kyle Laverty hasn’t played in the NLL in three years and has been the career penalty minutes leader with 627 for at least that long. But not only could that lead vanish this year, Laverty could be in fourth place by the end of the season. Geoff Snider needs 18 minutes to reach the 600 minute mark, and 45 to reach Laverty’s record. Patrick Merrill needs 42 for 600, and 69 to take over the lead, while Billy Dee Smith is only 10 back of Merrill. These four players will still form the top four at the end of the season, but the ordering is anybody’s guess.

 

Games

At 257 games played, Josh Sanderson is currently tied with Shawn Williams for second on the all-time list, an amazing forty nine behind John Tavares’ 306. Colin Doyle is only a game behind Josh and Willy.

Two players could hit 200 games played, and both are on the Toronto Rock: Patrick Merrill needs 12 while Billy Greer needs 14.

Three other players will likely hit 100 this season: Stephen Leblanc and Brett Mydske will get there in their season debuts, while Scott Carnegie needs 6. Nick Rose is on that list as well, needing 10 games to reach 100, but that’s a little misleading since as a goalie, he seems to get credit for a game played even when he never leaves the bench.

 

Leaders

On the career points list, Mark Steenhuis (haven’t talked about him for a while) is 64 points away from 9th place overall, pushing Gavin Prout down to 10th. Steenhuis could even push himself into 8th place, needing 98 points to pass Lewis Ratcliff.

Shawn Evans could also move up a few spots, needing 34 points to pass his new Black Wolves coach Tracey Kelusky for 13th place, 4 more to pass Mike Accursi, and 6 more after that to pass Blaine Manning.

Bandits star Ryan Benesch is currently in 21st place overall, but with a 100-point season he could vault into 14th. Benny is only a point away from Ryan Ward, 2 away from Derek Malawsky, and 8 away from Pat Maddalena.

 

Goalie minutes

Anthony Cosmo is on his way to a record-setting season. Coz should pass the 10000 minute mark early in the season, since he’s only 113 minutes away.  He needs 392 minutes to pass Pat O’Toole and 553 to pass Bob Watson for first place on the all-time list.

Matt Vinc needs 627 minutes to reach 8000. Mike Poulin needs 265 to get to 5000, and Aaron Bold needs 379 to reach 5000.

Cosmo's on the brink of almost every all-time goalie record

Goals against

Cosmo may not want to be at the top of this list, but with a career this long, it’s not unlikely. His 29th goal against this season will be his 1800th. Allowing 169 will push him past Bob Watson and 183 will pass Pat O’Toole. Since Cosmo gave up 191 in each of the last two seasons, this is certainly reachable. The all-time lead is likely safe for one more season, as Cosmo would have to give up 210 to pass Dallas Eliuk.

Brandon Miller needs 22 to reach 1500, and Matt Vinc is 38 away from the same mark.

 

Saves

Again, Cosmo is poised to set the all-time record. He needs 73 saves to pass Eliuk, 180 to pass O’Toole, and 187 to pass Watson for the overall lead in saves.

Matt Vinc is 1001 behind Cosmo, which means that barring injuries, Vinc will become the all-time leader if his career continues two years after Cosmo retires.

 

Other

John Grant will be 41 when the season starts and is now the oldest player in the NLL. Josh Sanderson, Colin Doyle, and Anthony Cosmo (in that order) are next at 38.

Grant is also now the active points leader at 1366 with Colin Doyle 27 behind him and Josh Sanderson 24 behind Doyle.