(TORONTO) – The National Lacrosse League today announced that Georgia Swarm forward Randy Staats has been named the recipient of the 2016 Rookie of the Year award.
Staats set the new NLL single-season rookie scoring record with 95 points, which led the Swarm and was 10th-most in the league overall. Staats led all rookies in points (95), goals (36) and assists (59), and was second in power play goals (8) and fifth in loose balls (84), second-most among first-year forwards. Staats' 59 assists also set a new NLL single-season rookie record. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound righty posted six or more points in nine games including six hat tricks and 14 multi-goal games in 18 games played.
“I want to thank the Georgia Swarm organization for drafting me and I also want to thank my teammates; I know this wouldn’t be possible without their help,” Staats said on the podium Monday night at the NLL Awards Ceremony. “It’s a team game and I’m very happy and humble to accept this award.”
"Randy's rookie season in 2016 was one for the record books," Swarm Owner and General Manager John Arlotta said. "His rookie record of 95 points showed that he is not only a great goal scorer, but he is unselfish and makes others around him better as well. Our entire organization is extremely proud of Randy and all that he accomplished both on and off the field last season en route to being named Rookie of the Year. With that said, what is also most exciting is that we know the best is still yet to come."
The 23-year-old from Six Nations, Ont. played collegiately at Syracuse University and was Georgia's first-round (6th overall) selection in the 2015 NLL Draft. Staats was a Tewaaraton Trophy finalist in 2014 and two-time NJCAA Player of the Year at Onondaga C.C. in 2012 and 2013. Staats won the NLL Rookie of the Month award in January and April.
Swarm forward Jesse King was also one of the three finalists up for Rookie of the Year. Other Swarm finalists that were recognized Monday night included John Arlotta (General Manager of the Year Award), Jordan MacIntosh (Transition Player of the Year Award) and Kiel Matisz (Sportsmanship Award).
The Swarm's newest goaltender, Mike Poulin, was named the NLL's Teammate of the Year after spending the 2016 season with the Calgary Roughnecks. Georgia inked Poulin to a three-year contract this offseason.
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