By Kyle Lange & William Griffin | 8/6/13 4:00 PM
When going through the list of rookies in the league Rob Pannell’s nomination for Cascade Rookie of the Year is a shoe in. The 2013 Tewaaraton winner finished a banner year with Cornell before joining the New York Lizards. Pannell was selected first overall in 2012 by New York, after they received the pick from Charlotte. He suffered a season ending injury early in his senior season at Cornell and was awarded a fifth year of eligibility due to the injury, deferring his MLL Debut until this season.
Once joining the Lizards, Pannell quickly became an offensive leader for the struggling Lizards, with three goals and an assist in his first professional game, good enough for Rookie for the Week honors. Since his debut, Pannell has held the role as the “go to guy” for the young offense. The former Big Red attackman has played in nine out of the 13 games, but still has netted 22 goals and dished out another 14 assists for a total of 36 points, all of which lead the Lizards.
Pannell’s success isn’t exclusive to his team, he found himself voted into the All-Star Game, Presented by Moe’s Southwest Grill, after playing only a handful of games—a tremendous honor for the budding superstar. Pannell’s 36 points are 11th, his 22 goals are 15th, and 14 assists are 9th best in the league—keep in mind that he’s only had the opportunity to suit up for nine games, four less than the average player.
As a 2013 All-Star, Pannell also participated in several events for the fans including working the line at Moe’s during All-Star weekend. He was seen yelling “Welcome to Moe’s” from behind the counter the loudest and socialized with many fans that weekend. He has always been a fan favorite, even in college as he was seen throwing his gloves into the stands after his season ending loss to Duke in the final four.
Pannell’s successes have been recognized by others as well; just today the rookie attackman inked a new deal with Brine Lacrosse. There are plans for an “RP3 Line,” with gloves, heads, apparel, and much more.
Find out if Pannell is named Cascade Rookie of the Year on Tuesday, August 13 when the winner is named.