When the Colorado Mammoth made Dillon Ward the third-overall pick in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft, it marked the first time in 14 years that a goaltender was selected in the top three. The results speak for themselves. One season after leading the League in save percentage, Ward has been named the National Lacrosse League ‘Goaltender of the Year’.
The 26-year-old from Orangeville, Ontario finished the 2017 campaign second in save percentage (.793), three-thousandths behind the leader. He also finished second in goals-against-average (10.89), seven-hundredths shy of the top spot.
“I’m honored to be named ‘Goaltender of the Year’,” said Ward. “It was a fantastic year for the Colorado Mammoth. I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my teammates – especially my defense in front of me – and the coaches for believing in me all year. Of course I’ve got to thank my parents for all the support they give me, and friends and family. Last, but not least, the Colorado Mammoth fan base – you guys are awesome and I can’t wait to play for you guys again next year.”
The fourth-year pro enjoyed a remarkable seven-game stretch this year, boasting a save percentage of .800 or better in every outing. He anchored a defense that held its opponents to single-digit goals in four straight games.
“Dillon has blossomed into the goalie we knew he could be, and he’s worked hard to become the best in the NLL,” said Steve Govett, Colorado’s president & general manager. “I’m so happy for him that he’s finally getting the recognition he deserves.”
In 2017, Ward recorded career-bests in wins (nine) and saves (632). In May, the Mammoth presented Ward with the Gary Gait Award, which honors the team’s MVP.
He was named Top Goaltender and Most Valuable Player of the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships while leading Team Canada to the gold medal.
The goalie will serve as an instructor at the team’s fifth annual summer camp next week.