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National Lacrosse League Announces Finalists for 2022-23 NLL Awards

Christian Del Bianco (Credit: Isaiah J. Downing)

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced the finalists for its annual season-end awards honoring the best players, coaches, and executives for the 2022-23 NLL season.

Reigning NLL Most Valuable Player, Buffalo Bandits forward Dhane Smith, looks to repeat against last year’s NLL Rookie of the Year, New York Riptide’s Jeff Teat, and Calgary Roughnecks’ standout goaltender, Christian Del Bianco.

All 11 award categories are based on 2022-23 regular season stats and performances, with voting taking place prior to the start of the 2023 NLL Playoffs. Voters ranked their choices from 1st through 5th place with those votes correlating with a point total (noted below). The top three vote getters for each award are listed as the finalists.

The winners will be announced next week leading into Game 1 of the NLL Finals.

Most Valuable Player

  • Christian Del Bianco (Coquitlam, BC) – Goaltender – Calgary Roughnecks
  • Dhane Smith (Kitchener, ON) – Forward – Buffalo Bandits
  • Jeff Teat (Brampton, ON) – Forward – New York Riptide

Rookie of the Year

  • Brett Dobson (Oshawa, ON) – Goaltender – Georgia Swarm
  • Jonathan Donville (Oakville, ON) – Forward – Panther City Lacrosse Club
  • Jack Hannah (Milford, OH) – Forward – Las Vegas Desert Dogs

Goaltender of the Year

  • Christian Del Bianco (Coquitlam, BC) – Calgary Roughnecks
  • Nick Rose (Orangeville, ON) – Toronto Rock

Matt Vinc (St. Catharines, ON) – Buffalo Bandits

Transition Player of the Year

  • Reid Bowering (Coquitlam, BC) – Vancouver Warriors
  • Zach Currier (Peterborough, ON) – Calgary Roughnecks
  • Challen Rogers (Coquitlam, BC) – Toronto Rock

Defensive Player of the Year

  • Latrell Harris (St. Catharines, ON) – Toronto Rock
  • Graeme Hossack (Port Perry, ON) – Halifax Thunderbirds
  • Brad Kri (Acton, ON) – Toronto Rock

Sportsmanship Award

  • Kyle Buchanan (Nepean, ON) – Buffalo Bandits
  • Tom Schreiber (East Meadow, NY) – Toronto Rock
  • Lyle Thompson (Onondaga Nation, NY) – Georgia Swarm

Teammate of the Year

  • Kyle Buchanan (Nepean, ON) – Buffalo Bandits
  • Dan Dawson (Oakville, ON) – Toronto Rock
  • John LaFontaine (Whitby, ON) – Albany FireWolves

Les Bartley Award (Head Coach of the Year)

  • Mike Hasen – Rochester Knighthawks
  • Tracey Kelusky – Panther City Lacrosse Club
  • Curt Malawsky – Calgary Roughnecks

General Manager of the Year

  • Mike Board – Calgary Roughnecks
  • Dan Carey – Rochester Knighthawks
  • Jamie Dawick – Toronto Rock

Executive of the Year

  • Melissa Blades – Director of Business Operations, Calgary Roughnecks
  • Mark Fine – Chief Executive Officer, Las Vegas Desert Dogs
  • Matt Hutchings – Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, KSE, Governor, Colorado Mammoth 

Tom Borrelli Award (Media Person of the Year)

  • Pat Gregoire – TSN/Halifax Thunderbirds color commentator and co-host, “Off the CrosseBar” Podcast
  • Teddy Jenner – TSN play-by-play and co-host, “Off the CrosseBar” Podcast
  • Adam Levi – Inside Lacrosse, NLLPA, and NLL.com contributing writer and host, “Lacrosse Matrix” Podcast

Each NLL team had the opportunity to nominate and vote for each of the awards with the exception of Teammate of the Year, as each NLLPA Player Representative nominated a player from their team for this honor that was voted on by the NLLPA and its 15 Player Representatives.

Once nominations were finalized, each NLL team casted three ballots for each award by three members of its organization. Select media were eligible to vote for all awards except Teammate of the Year and Executive of the Year with the same voting system.

Each ballot allowed voting members to select their top five choices for each award among all nominated persons. Points were distributed for each first through fifth place vote as follows:

  • 1st Place – 10 points
  • 2nd Place – 7 points
  • 3rd Place – 5 points
  • 4th Place – 3 points
  • 5th Place – 1 point

The person that accumulated the most points will be announced as the winner while the top three are the finalists. The All-League and All-Rookie teams are determined by the top vote getters in each correlating award. The All-Rookie team will be made up of six rookies, regardless of position. The All-League First Team and All-League Second Team will be made up of six individuals per team. Each Team will consist of two forwards, one transition player, two defenseman, and one goaltender.

For the latest scores and developments in the National Lacrosse League, please visit NLL.com and find the NLL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

About Jerry Milani

Jerry Milani is a writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 30 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and as a freelance professional. His PR clients have included Wizard World and FAN EXPO, which produce pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America, USA Wrestling, the National Lacrosse League, Strat-O-Matic Media, the Pacific Life Open and Pilot Pen Tennis tournaments and dozens of others. Milani is also the director of athletic communications for Caldwell University. He is a proud graduate of North Rockland High School and Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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