Toronto Rock forward Stephan Leblanc has been named the National Lacrosse League’s Rookie of the Week for Week 15 of the 2010 regular season.
Leblanc, 24, was named game MVP for the third time this month after scoring a team-high six points from four goals and two assists in Toronto’s 15-7 domination of the Rochester Knighthawks last Friday at the Air Canada Centre.
The win in Toronto’s final regular season game of 2010 sent the young team to the post-season for the first time since the 2007 season. Leblanc will be one of 10 Rock players making their post-season debut with the team on Saturday, May 1.
“Experience is a good thing to have going into these games,” said Rock GM-assistant coach Terry Sanderson. “But we’ve played with young guys all year, so this being their first playoff game is not something we’ve talked about.
“They’ll show up and play.”
The lefty became the only rookie in the NLL to score at least one goal in every game this season after netting Toronto’s sixth goal of the night at the 5:28 mark of the second quarter on Friday.
“It certainly shows he has a consistency to his game,” states Sanderson. “It’s one of the biggest things you look for in rookies coming into this league. Stephan shows that he is consistent in his approach of how the game is played.”
Leblanc ends his rookie season with 82 points and sits third in all-time rookie goals with 36 behind League greats Paul Gait (47) and John Grant Jr. (37).
“Hats off to the kid for having a phenomenal year,” said Sanderson.
This is the rookie’s fourth league recognition this season. The NLL Weekly Player Awards are determined each week by a vote of the General Managers & Head Coaches of the league’s eleven member clubs.
The Toronto Rock will host the NLL East Division semi-final game at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 1 at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto returns to the post-season hosting their first NLL playoff game since 2005. Tickets are available through the Toronto Rock website online at www.torontorock.com.