Toronto – Many people thought the Toronto Rock may have secured the steal of the draft grabbing Rob Hellyer in the third round of the 2010 NLL Entry Draft, and if his first game is any indication, those people may have been on to something.
The 18-year old from Lion’s Head, Ontario scored a jaw dropping goal in the third quarter of his NLL debut on Friday night at Air Canada Centre and also chipped in 3 assists for a four-point career opening performance.
The goal brought the fans to their feet and also ended up on highlight reels everywhere including earning TSN’s Highlight of the Night honours for Friday and then making an appearance on TSN’s Plays of the Week.
“It’s been a pretty big change from what I’m used to playing Junior A in Orangeville,” said the first year pro. “I’ve had a lot of friends and family telling me they saw the game on tv.”
After spending the first 10 games of the season on the practice roster, the rookie certainly made the most of his opportunity.
Hellyer is now the youngest player in the NLL this season and has shown some incredible poise for being so young in a professional sport where players don’t usually break into the league until their early 20’s.
“It’s a pretty big accomplishment,” explained Hellyer when asked about being the youngest player in the NLL this season. “The guys have really welcomed me and made me feel as comfortable as possible.”
There are a lot of players with a lot of championships in the Rock locker room and that has certainly helped Hellyer.
“Blaine (Manning) has been a big influence on me,” expressed Hellyer. “He tries to just calm me down and help me play my game.”
The Rock now have some time off in March to prepare for a tough stretch drive as their regular season schedule resumes on Friday, March 25 in Calgary for a 9:30 pm ET game against the Roughnecks.