May 9, 2013

Calgary's Evans Wins NLL Most Valuable Player

from press release

The National Lacrosse League has announced that Shawn Evans from the Calgary Roughnecks has won the Most Valuable Player award presented by Reebok for the 2013 NLL season.

Evans won the league's scoring title with 112 points (32+80), which tied for the fifth-most points in NLL single-season history. As the leader of the Roughnecks offense that scored the most goals of any team this year, the forward also led the league with 80 assists, the second-most in an NLL season all-time. Evans ranked tied for fifth in the NLL with 12 power play goals on the league's top power play unit and tied for 10th in the league with 32 goals.

"It's a great honor to receive this award as there are so many great players in this league, including the other finalists Garrett Billings and Rhys Duch," Evans said. "This achievement is a reflection of the great season the Roughnecks had. It's a privilege to take to the floor with this group of guys and this accomplishment highlights my teammates and their abilities."

The Peterborough, Ontario native, who played collegiately at Bellarmine University, was the second overall pick in the 2005 NLL Entry Draft. Evans recorded 10 or more points in five games this year, including 13 points (4+9) in Week #4, the highest single-game point total by an NLL player in 2013.

"Shawn had a true MVP season," said Calgary's head coach Curt Malawsky. "He made everyone around him better which in turn made the Roughnecks better. His compete level is second to none and was truly contagious within our group. This season, Shawn evolved into a true leader on the floor which had an impact on our rookies and veterans alike. He was our floor general."

The eight-year veteran was named to the NLL All-Pro Team for the second-straight season. Evans becomes the second player in Calgary's franchise history to win the MVP award after teammate Jeff Shattler won the award in 2011.

"His ability to find the open man while two defenders were draped on him is uncanny," Malawsky added. "The youth of our game should really take the time to watch this man play. He exemplifies what doing the little things to achieve the big things is all about. The Roughnecks family is truly proud of Shawn's achievements this year and we are excited about his continued contributions to our team."

Toronto Rock forward Garrett Billings was the runner-up for the award for the second-straight year while Washington Stealth forward Rhys Duch finished third in the voting.

Billings ranked second in NLL scoring for the second-straight season with 100 points (30+70), finished second in the league with 70 assists and tied for first with 15 power play goals. The Langley, British Columbia native, who played collegiately at the University of Virginia, was the Rock's first-round (6th overall) selection in the 2009 Draft. The three-year NLL veteran won the 2013 NLL Sportsmanship Award and was named First Team All-Pro for the second year in a row.

Duch scored in every game to lead the NLL with 45 goals, finished third in the league with 96 points (45+51), tied for fourth with three shorthanded goals, and eighth in both assists (51) and shooting percentage (.213). The Victoria, British Columbia native, who played collegiately at Stony Brook University, was the Stealth's first-round (3rd overall) selection in the 2008 Draft. The five-year veteran was named to the All-Pro Team in 2010, 2011 and 2013 and helped lead Washington back to their third Championship Game in the last four years this season.

The 2013 NLL Season Awards are determined by a vote of the league's Board of Governors, General Managers and Head Coaches.

The announcement of Season Awards continues on Monday, May 20 with the 2013 NLL Executive of the Year award followed by the 2013 NLL Tom Borrelli Media Person of the Year award on May 21.

The East Division champion and defending NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks take on the West Division Champion Washington Stealth in the 2013 NLL Championship Game, presented by Reebok, on Saturday, May 11 at 7 p.m. ET at Langley Events Centre in British Columbia, live exclusively on CBS Sports Network.

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