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Analyzing the 2013 Rookie Class

By William Griffin |  8/14/13 9:00 AM

Analyzing the 2013 Rookie Class


The Major League Lacrosse Rookie class of 2013 exceeded expectations throughout the MLL Regular season.  Many were are all-stars, offensive players of the week and defensive players of the week, and many finished in the top 10 in several categories for all-time rookie production.  But, are they the best rookie class of all time?  Do they compare to the 2008 and 2006 classes; classes that produced the likes of Paul Rabil, Brendan Mundorf, Matt Danowski, Mike Leveille, among others?

WATCH: 2013 Rookie Highlights

The easiest, most clear, and most effective way to determine which class is best, is to dive into the statistics.  We will look at which class had the highest goal scorers, assist generators and point producers.  We will then look at the number of all-star selections, offensive and defensive player of the week awards, and we should be able to see a pretty clear picture as to which of these three MLL rookie classes had the best rookie season.  Please keep in mind, however, that this analysis only takes into account the rookie season of these players, and nothing after. 

The rookie record book is littered with 2013, 2008, and 2006 rookies.  Logan Schuss’ 28 goals are good for second best all time for a rookie, trailing only Kevin Huntley in his ’08 rookie campaign in which he netted 30 goals.  2013 Cascade Rookie of the Year, Rob Pannell, sits at fourth best all time with his 25 goals and Denver’s Eric Law is sixth with his 24 goals.  That’s three 2013 rookies in the top six—pretty impressive.  The 2008 class comes in a close second with three top 10 scorers, but only two in the top six.  The 2006 class was strong too, with three top 10 scorers as well, but only one in the top six. 

Goals

Player

Season

30

K. Huntley

2008

28

L. Schuss

2013

26

A. Doneger

2003

25

R. Pannell

2013

25

M. Poskay

2006

24

E. Law

2013

24

P. Rabil

2008

23

M. Ward

2006

23

S. Brooks

2008

22

B. Mundorf

2006

 

 

Pannell’s 17 assists are third best all time among rookies, trailing Ryan Boyle’s 28 assists—wow—and Mike Leveille’s 18.  Pannell is the only 2013 rookie to make the list, and his spot at number three is impressive, but other rookie classes are without a doubt more impressive than the ’13 class in the assist category.  No rookie class has more than one in the top five, but the 2006 and 2008 classes both have two in the top 10, and the 2012 has three.

Assists

Player

Season

28

R. Boyle

2004

18

M. Leveille

2008

17

R. Pannell

2013

17

S. Stanwick

2012

16

C. Gill

2002

15

M. Gibson

2012

15

S. Morris

2006

14

J. Yevoli

2006

14

D. Westervelt

2007

14

M. Danowski

2008

 

 

In the points category, Pannell’s 42 points trail only Boyle and his 45 from 2004.  Logan Schuss and his 35 points fall sixth on the list and Eric Law’s 34 are good for tenth.  The 2005 class is convincingly the best class in this statistical category, as they hold five of the top ten spots.  2013 comes in second with three and no other class has more than one. 

Points

Player

Season

45

R. Boyle

2004

42

R. Pannell

2013

36

C. Gill

2002

36

M. Danowski

2008

36

M. Leveille

2008

35

L. Schuss

2013

35

J. Yevoli

2006

35

S. Brooks

2008

35

K. Huntley

2008

34

E. Law

2013

34

D. Westervelt

2007

34

P. Rabil

2008

 

 

The first thing that you realize after looking at all the statistics for these classes is that all three were extremely talented and by far the best three ever.  There are multiple different ways to determine, from these stats, which class is the best, and with each different way, you come up with a different winner.  If you look at the sheer number of top 10 players in the three categories, the nod has to go to the 2008 class, with 2013 coming in second.  If you look at the most top five players in each of the statistical categories, you would have to conclude that both 2013 and 2008 are the tied for the best.  But, if you look at the top three from each category, the 2013 class has the most.  All in all, these three classes, statistically speaking, are very similar, but the 2013 and 2008 classes might be just a little bit ahead of the 2006 class.

Luckily, we can use All-Star Game selections and Player of the Week Honors to break the tie between the 2013 and 2008 classes.  The 2013 class saw three players, Pannell, Mike Sawyer, and John Ranagan, suit up for the All-Star Game down in Charlotte.  In 2008, four rookies suited up for the game.  Leveille, Brooks, Danowski and Rabil were all honored with an All-Star nod. 

The 2013 rookie class boasts four Player of the Week awards.  Tucker Durkin won two Defensive Player of the Week awards and Jesse Bernhardt won another, and Garrett Thul won an Offensive Player of the Week Award.  The 2008 class boasts no offensive or defensive players of the week.  That information leads one to believe that the 2013 rookies had a greater impact within the league.  While the two classes put up relatively similar statistics, the 2013 class was more successful in contributing to wins and standing out among all players, more so than the ’08 class.

The 2013 class is in great company and if they continue on the paths that the ’06 and ’08 classes set, we will be in for a treat.  But, speaking strictly on rookie seasons alone, it’s quite clear that these three classes are very similar in talent level, with the 2013 and 2008 classes ever so slightly separating themselves from the 2006 class as the better two.  



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