Each year the National Lacrosse League honours its top players in several categories, and each year, there are a number of Peterborough Lakers included.
Lakers’ General Manager Paul Day is nominated for both the NLL’s GM and Coach of the Year categories, leading the Philadelphia Wings to an 8-6 record in the East Division. The Wings led the division early in the season and were looking forward to challenging for a playoff spot before the season was cancelled due to COVID-19. It was a strong second season for the Wings after they failed to make the playoffs in their inaugural season. Day built a solid team and is obviously our pick to win both awards!
Also nominated from the Wings is Kiel Matisz in the Transition Player of the Year category. He competes for this against the Calgary Roughnecks’ Zach Currier. Matisz scored 15 goals and 25 assists from the back end in 14 games while serving as the Wings’ captain. Currier scored three goals and added 10 assists in 13 games this season while scooping 108 loose balls.
Kyle Buchanan of the San Diego Seals is nominated for the Sportsmanship Award. Bucky only took two penalties in 12 games and is consistently one of the most even-tempered players on the floor, in addition to being one of the kindest players off the floor.
Lakers’ captain Robert Hope is nominated for Defensive Player of the Year. He finished fourth in the league with 110 loose ball scoops for the Colorado Mammoth. Jake Withers was second and Currier fifth, with Matisz seventh.
“He’s a guy who adds a lot to the team, both on and off the field. He’s had an enormous impact on our team for years, and his nomination is a great testament to that,” said Mammoth assistant GM and former Laker Brad Self.
Hope wears an A with the Mammoth but did spend a season as captain, filling in for an injured Dan Coates.
And to nobody’s surprise, goaltender Mike Poulin of the Georgia Swarm is up for the Teammate of the Year Award. Though only a Laker for one year so far, Poulin immediately became a favourite of our fans and his teammates alike and put the team on his back during the 2019 Mann Cup. He’s the consummate teammate – a relaxed leader in the dressing room who never stops working hard.
The Lakers extend their congratulations to our players who worked so hard with their NLL teams this past winter and are now being recognized for their efforts. The winners will be announced on the NLL’s social media channels on Tuesday, June 30.