MAMMOTH GOALTENDER NAMED NLL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR FINALIST
When goaltender Dillon Ward was selected third overall by the Colorado Mammoth in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft, it was the earliest a netminder had been drafted in 14 years. In his first year in the league, Ward showed flashes of brilliance. On Wednesday, the Ontario native’s impressive inaugural campaign was honored by the National Lacrosse League as Ward was named one of three finalists for NLL Rookie of the Year.
“Just having the opportunity to compete professionally against the world’s best is an honor in and of itself,” said the 23-year-old. “Now being a finalist for an award that many of the best to ever play the game have previously won is almost surreal.”
The rookie earned the starting job less than one month into the season, and boasted a .773 save percentage and an 11.58 goals against average. His stellar April propelled the Mammoth into the postseason.
Ward, who will play for Team Canada in the FIL World Lacrosse Championships in July at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, joins Edmonton’s Robert Church and Minnesota’s Logan Schuss (both forwards) as finalists for the 2014 award. Colorado’s roster currently includes two former Rookie of the Year award recipients: Adam Jones (2012) and John Grant Jr. (2000 with Rochester). Brian Langtry, whose number 6 jersey hangs from the rafters of Pepsi Center, won the award in the Mammoth’s inaugural season in Colorado.
The 2014 NLL Season Awards are determined by a vote of the league's Board of Governors, General Managers and Head Coaches at the end of the regular season. The winners will be announced at the first-ever NLL Season Awards Ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 21 in Oakville, Ontario.