The Toronto Rock have signed six members of the 2010 East Division Championship team. Stephan Leblanc, Garrett Billings, Jeff Gilbert, Mike Hobbins, Drew Petkoff and Creighton Reid have all been signed to two year agreements.
The Rock’s two offensive rookie weapons in 2010 will again wear Toronto colours.
“We are so pleased to have Steph and Garrett back for the next two years,” said Rock general manager, Terry Sanderson. “We are hopeful that their success from last season will lead to even more success this coming year.
“Going forward we see both of them as a big part of our team.”
Leblanc, the NLL’s 2010 Rookie of the Year, recorded 99 points last season from 44 goals and 55 assists, and scooped 90 loose balls. The lefty was known for his consistency, scoring at least one goal in each of the 19 games he played in his freshman year.
The only rookie that was anywhere close to Leblanc’s total with teammate Billings, who recorded more points during the regular season. Through 19 games Billings tallied 38 goals and 60 assists.
On the defensive end of the floor the Rock have signed Gilbert, Hobbins, Petkoff and Reid.
“I’m excited to see these four young guys back with the club,” said Sanderson. “Knowing how well they played last year, we have specific roles set aside for each of them.
“They are very underrated with some people but I know what they bring to the table, and know they are all quality team guys.”
Last season when Sanderson took the reigns as assistant defensive coach, he introduced Toronto to a new style of fast-paced, up-tempo defence.
“They are a big part of that system,” said Sanderson. “We are looking to push the ball more this year, and all of them fall into the category of guys that can transition the ball for us.”
Each of the defenders, ages ranging from 23 to 27, were instrumental in keeping shots away from Bob Watson and Steve Dietrich in Toronto’s net. The Rock held the second lowest number of goals against for the season with 156, only two more than the now defunct Orlando Titans.