ROCK WELL REPRESENTED AMONG NLL AWARDS FINALISTS
Rob Hellyer Named Finalist For NLL MVP
Oakville, ON – It’s NLL Awards season! Over the last two days, the NLL has announced the finalists for the 2020 NLL Awards and the Toronto Rock are well represented. Rob Hellyer, Challen Rogers, Dan Dawson and Jamie Dawick have finished in the top three in voting for different league awards.
Leading the class of nominees is veteran forward Rob Hellyer, a finalist for Most Valuable Player. He’s up against New England’s Callum Crawford and Georgia’s Shayne Jackson. The only holdover from the Rock’s 2011 championship squad was relied upon heavily to score goals while his team was ravaged by injuries. Top offensive stars Adam Jones (10), Tom Schreiber (6) and Dan Dawson (1) combined for a total of 17 man-games lost to injury.
Hellyer appeared in all 11 regular season games for the Rock and scored 32 goals, good for second best in the NLL, which put him on pace for a career-high 52 goals. That goal total would have also set a new Rock record for most goals in a season, established by Brett Hickey with 50 goals in 2015.
Captain Challen Rogers won his first Transition Player of the Year Award in 2019 and is a heavy favourite to win the honour in back-to-back seasons. The do-it-all defender is no stranger to winning league back-to-back honours as he is the two-time, reigning, back-to-back Major Series Lacrosse MVP after winning the award in 2018 and 2019 with the Oakville Rock of the OLA’s MSL. Philadelphia’s Kiel Matisz and Calgary’s Zach Currier are the other finalists for the award.
While barely a one-season veteran of the Toronto Rock, he’s a 19-year veteran of the NLL. Dan Dawson signed as an UFA with the Rock last summer and immediately made an impact both on and off the floor, earning his nomination for Teammate of the Year, by quite simply being a great teammate. The cliché of being a pro’s pro certainly applies to Dawson. The other finalists are Mike Poulin of Georgia and John Ranagan of New York.
The final member of the Rock organization named a finalist is the man at the top, Jamie Dawick. The Owner and President added the title of General Manager to his business card in 2015 after the passing of NLL Hall of Fame GM Terry Sanderson. The signing of Dan Dawson as an UFA proved to be one of the biggest and most impactful moves that any team made in the off-season. Along with the signing of veteran David Brock and the year over year assembling of tremendous depth by Dawick, his short- and long-term vision for building a winner laid the groundwork that kept the Rock in the championship conversation from start to finish during the 2020 season. The other GM of the Year finalists are Philadelphia’s Paul Day and Rich Lisk, formerly of New England.
If there was an awards snub, perhaps it fell in the Defensive Player of the Year category with defender Brad Kri finishing outside of the top three in voting and was not named a finalist.
The NLL will announce the winners on Tuesday, June 30th beginning at 7pm ET across their social platforms.