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Del Bianco becomes second goaltender to win NLL MVP

Christian Del Bianco Christian Del Bianco - Isaiah J. Downing

The National Lacrosse League on Friday announced that Calgary Roughnecks goaltender, Christian Del Bianco has won the 2022-23 Most Valuable Player award while Panther City Lacrosse Club’s standout rookie, Jonathan Donville has taken Rookie of the Year honors.

Christian Del Bianco, 25, (Coquitlam, BC) was awarded the Most Valuable Player title today after winning Goaltender of the Year yesterday. He becomes just the second goaltender to ever win the MVP award (Steve Dietrich, 2006) and third non-forward to win the award since its inception in 1994, (Jeff Shattler, transition, 2011).

Del Bianco set a record with 1,080:19 minutes played this season and finished the season with a 13-5 record, leading the Roughnecks to a franchise high 13 wins. He is the fourth Roughneck to win the MVP, the first since Dane Dobbie in 2019. The Roughneck goaltender recorded 19 assists on the season, 10 more than second place (Warren Hill, HFX) to help spur the dangerous transition game from the Roughnecks. He edges out other finalists, Dhane Smith, who won the MVP award last season and sophomore standout and NLL leading scorer, Jeff Teat.

Christian Del Bianco – 415 points
Dhane Smith – 358 points
Jeff Teat – 323 points

Panther City Lacrosse Club forward, Jonathan Donville, 25, (Oakville, ON), the number one overall selection from the 2021 NLL Entry Draft, received Rookie of the Year honors, making him the fourth straight number one overall pick from the NLL Entry Draft to win the award (Jeff Teat – 2022, Tyson Gibson – 2020, Austin Staats – 2019).

Donville finished the season with 90 points, second on the team, and with 67 assists, four shy of Jeff Teat’s single season rookie record set last season. On the way to a franchise best 10-8 record and first playoff appearance, Donville led the NLL with 29 powerplay assists. Donville is a product of Cornell and Maryland men’s lacrosse programs at the university level and played for the Mimico Mountaineers and Orangeville Northmen in junior lacrosse.

Jonathan Donville – 543 points
Brett Dobson – 356 points
Jack Hannah – 356 points

1st Team All-League

Dhane Smith, Buffalo Bandits, Forward. The 2021-22 NLL MVP had another memorable season, breaking his single season assist record he set last year, with 96 helpers. His 132 points were second in the NLL. He also contributed 99 loose ball recoveries and 14 caused turnovers to help lead the Bandits to a league best 14-4 record. This is Smith’s third 1st Team All-League honors (2016, 2022).

Jeff Teat, New York Riptide, Forward. The 2021-22 Rookie of the Year took another huge step in his development, leading the NLL with 136 points, one shy of tying Dhane Smith’s single season record from 2016. Teat led the league with 56 goals, which is now sixth in league history. While scoring was on Teat’s resume, he also finished third in the NLL with 80 assists. Teat scored or assisted on 67.7% of all Riptide goals this season. He also had two games with seven goals (1/21/23 and 2/11/23). This is Teat’s first 1st Team All-League honors.

Zach Currier, Calgary Roughnecks, Transition. Zach Currier took home his second Transition Player of the Year in a row after another phenomenal season on both ends of the floor. He finishes the season with 15 goals, 18 assists, 228 loose ball recoveries (second in the NLL), 43 caused turnovers (second in the NLL), and 18 blocked shots. This is Currier’s second 1st Team All-League honors (2022).

Latrell Harris, Toronto Rock, Defenseman. Latrell Harris won his first Defensive Player of the Year award on a team that allowed the least number of goals on the season with 164 (9.11 per game). Harris was one of the stalwarts on the backend taking on the toughest matchups, finishing the season with 10 goals, 20 assists, 108 loose ball recoveries, 24 caused turnovers and 10 blocked shots with just four penalty minutes. This is Harris’ first 1st Team All-League honors after finishing on the second team last season.

Graeme Hossack, Halifax Thunderbirds, Defenseman. The three time Defensive Player of the Year is one of the fiercest competitors in the NLL. He finished the season with two goals, seven assists, 139 loose ball recoveries, a league high 49 caused turnovers and 16 blocked shots, committing just eight penalty minutes in the process. This is Hossack’s fourth 1st Team All-League honors (2018, 2019, 2020).

Christian Del Bianco, Calgary Roughnecks, Goaltender. As noted above, NLL MVP Del Bianco helped lead the Roughnecks to a franchise high 13 wins this season, playing a pivotal role in net. He finished with 19 assists, tied for 83rd in all the NLL and 10 more than the next goaltender. The Roughnecks allowed the second fewest goals all season. Del Bianco had a 13-5 record, a 9.28 goals against average, and an 81% save percentage. His 712 total saves were fourth in the NLL. This is Del Bianco’s first 1st Team All-League honors.

2nd Team All-League

Connor Fields, Rochester Knighthawks, Forward. Fields in his first year with the Knighthawks, helped lead the team to its first ever postseason appearance and a franchise best 10-8 record. He finished the season fifth in the NLL with 112 points, and second in goals at 52, a new high for an American born player. Among forwards, he also led the league with 142 loose ball recoveries, one of six players to finished with 100+ points and 100+ loose balls. This is Fields first All-League honors after being All-Rookie in 2020.

Tom Schreiber, Toronto Rock, Forward. Tom Schreiber set a new high for an American with 116 points, fourth in the NLL this season. His 48 goals were also fourth in the NLL. Schreiber had the most points in a single game this season with 15 on February 4, two away from tying Mark Steenhuis’ record of 17. He is also one of six players to hit the 100+ points and 100+ loose ball mark. This is Schreiber’s first All-League honors after being All-Rookie in 2017.

Challen Rogers, Toronto Rock, Transition. The two-time Transition Player of the Year finished the 2022-23 campaign with 20 goals, 29 assists, 85 loose balls, 13 caused turnovers and 11 blocked shots. One of the most versatile players in the NLL, Rogers frequently played out of both doors. He took four penalty shots, converting on three. This is Rogers’ second 2nd team All-League honors (2022), after being 1st Team in 2019 and 2020.

Brad Kri, Toronto Rock, Defenseman. Brad Kri is among the many talented defensive players for the Rock. In 18 games, Kri buried three goals, added 12 assists, 144 loose ball recoveries, 35 caused turnovers (fourth in the NLL) and a team high 13 blocked shots. The Rock had the second best penalty kill at 61% this season. This is Kri’s first All-League honors.

Steve Priolo, Buffalo Bandits. Defenseman. One of the toughest and most consistent players in the NLL, the Bandits captain had 19 points, 143 loose ball recoveries, 19 caused turnovers and 19 blocked shots to help lead the Bandits to a league best 14-4 record. His 67 penalty minutes were fourth highest in the NLL and his 16 assists were second among defensemen. This is Priolo’s third 2nd Team All-League honors (2015, 2019) and fourth overall after being on the 1st Team in the 2021-22 season.

Nick Rose, Toronto Rock, Goaltender. Nick Rose was one of the most complete goalies all season. His 9.03 goals against average was lowest in the NLL. He finished with a 13-5 record, 1056:46 minutes, 655 total saves and an 80% save percentage. This is Rose’s second straight 2nd Team All-League honors.

All-Rookie Team

Jake Boudreau, Saskatchewan Rush, Defenseman. The seventh overall selection from the 2021 NLL Entry Draft finished with 13 points which was good for 12th among all rookies, 94 loose ball recoveries, second among all rookies and 12 forced turnovers, fifth among rookies. The Brampton, Ontario product played collegiately at Robert Morris University.  

Brett Dobson, Georgia Swarm, Goaltender. The 11th overall selection from the 2022 NLL Entry Draft played 881 minutes, with an 8-7 record, 10.69 goals against average (fifth among goalies with 500+ minutes) and a 78% save percentage. He is the eighth goaltender named to the All-Rookie team since debuting in 2001. Dobson played collegiately at St. Bonaventure University and also won the gold medal with Team Canada at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama in 2022.

Jonathan Donville, Panther City Lacrosse Club, Forward. The number one overall selection from the 2021 NLL Entry Draft took the NLL by storm this season. His 90 points were 16th in the NLL (first among rookies). He tallied 67 assists, four shy of tying Jeff Teat’s single season record among rookies. He also led the NLL with 29 powerplay assists. He became the fourth straight number one overall selection to win Rookie of the Year honors. Donville played at both Maryland and Cornell collegiately.

Jack Hannah, Las Vegas Desert Dogs. Forward. Jack Hannah was the 31st overall selectin from the 2021 NLL Entry Draft to Panther City. Las Vegas acquired Hannah in the expansion draft where he played his first games. He finished with 64 points, second among rookies and with 33 goals, good for best among rookies and tied for the team lead in their inaugural season. The Milford, Ohio native attended the University of Denver and competed with the Ohio Rivermen of the National Collegiate Box Series.

Danny Logan, San Diego Seals. Defenseman. Danny Logan was the 50th overall selection in the 2020 NLL Entry Draft but would see his first game action this season. In 17 games, Logan recorded seven points, 98 loose balls (most among rookies), 24 caused turnovers (most among rookies) and went 156/362 at the faceoff dot. Logan is also a product of the University of Denver, originally from Upper Arlington, Ohio.

John Piatelli, Albany FireWolves, Forward. John Piatelli was selected 53rd overall in the 2022 NLL Entry Draft to the Albany FireWolves. In 16 games, he scored 18 goals and 21 assists, both ranked fourth among rookies. His 39 points were fifth on the FireWolves this season. He scooped up 68 loose balls which was fifth among rookies. The Wrentham, Massachusetts native attended Cornell for his university lacrosse.

The All-League and All-Rookie teams are determined by the top vote getters in each correlating award. The All-Rookie team is made up of six rookies, regardless of position. The All-League First Team and All-League Second Team are made up of six individuals per team. Each Team will consist of two forwards, one transition player, two defenseman, and one goaltender.

Below are the all-time winners of the NLL Most Valuable Player Award

2023 – Christian Del Bianco, Calgary Roughnecks
2022 – Dhane Smith, Buffalo Bandits
2020 – Shayne Jackson, Georgia Swarm
2019 – Dane Dobbie, Calgary Roughnecks
2018 – Mark Matthews, Saskatchewan Rush
2017 – Lyle Thompson, Georgia Swarm
2016 – Dhane Smith, Buffalo Bandits
2015 – Shawn Evans, Calgary Roughnecks
2014 – Cody Jamieson, Rochester Knighthawks
2013 – Shawn Evans, Calgary Roughnecks
2012 – John Grant Jr., Colorado Mammoth
2011 – Jeff Shattler, Calgary Roughnecks
2010 – Casey Powell, Orlando Titans
2009 – Dan Dawson, Boston Blazers
2008 – Athan Iannucci, Philadelphia Wings
2007 – John Grant Jr., Rochester Knighthawks
2006 – Steve Dietrich, Buffalo Bandits
2005 – Colin Doyle, Toronto Rock
2004 – Jim Veltman, Toronto Rock
2003 – Gary Gait, Colorado Mammoth
2002 – Paul Gait, Washington Power
2001 – John Tavares, Buffalo Bandits
2000 – John Tavares, Buffalo Bandits
1999 – Gary Gait, Baltimore Thunder
1998 – Gary Gait, Baltimore Thunder
1997 – Gary Gait, Philadelphia Wings
1996 – Gary Gait, Philadelphia Wings
1995 – Gary Gait, Philadelphia Wings
1994 – John Tavares, Buffalo Bandits

Below are the all-time winners of the NLL Rookie of the Year Award

2023 – Jonathan Donville, Panther City Lacrosse Club
2022 – Jeff Teat, New York Riptide
2020 – Tyson Gibson, New York Riptide
2019 – Austin Staats, San Diego Seals
2018 – Jake Withers, Rochester Knighthawks
2017 – Tom Schreiber, Toronto Rock
2016 – Randy Staats, Georgia Swarm
2015 – Ben McIntosh, Edmonton Rush
2014 – Logan Schuss, Minnesota Swarm
2013 – Mark Matthews, Edmonton Rush
2012 – Adam Jones, Colorado Mammoth
2011 – Curtis Dickson, Calgary Roughnecks
2010 – Stephan Leblanc, Toronto Rock
2009 – Rhys Duch, San Jose Stealth
2008 – Craig Point, Minnesota Swarm
2007 – Ryan Benesch, Toronto Rock
2006 – Brodie Merrill, Portland Lumberjax
2005 – Ryan Boyle, San Jose Stealth
2004 – Taylor Wray, Calgary Roughnecks
2003 – Brian Langtry, Colorado Mammoth
2002 – Blaine Manning, Toronto Rock
2001 – Tracey Kelusky, Columbus Landsharks
2000 – John Grant Jr., Rochester Knighthawks
1999 – Jesse Hubbard, Baltimore Thunder
1998 – Colin Doyle, Ontario Raiders
1997 – Jeff Wilfong, Boston Blazers
1996 – Darren Fridge, Boston Blazers
1995 – Charlie Lockwood, New York Saints
1994 – Tom Marachek – Philadelphia Wings
1993 – no award given
1992 – Derek Keenan, Buffalo Bandits
1991 – Gary Gait, Detroit Turbos