Zach Currier is the NLL’s Transition Player of the Year.
The 28-year-old Calgary Roughnecks superstar was awarded the honour Wednesday.
But as an ultimate team player — no doubt the reason why he was also nominated for 2022 NLL Teammate of the Year — Currier thanked teammates for the individual salute.
“I think that most individual awards are always a reflection of team play,” said the ever-humble Currier. “So although my name is on the transition player-of-the-year award, I think that’s a testament to how well (Roughnecks goaltender) Christian del bianco gets the ball up the floor and my defensive partners talk with me. There’s Tyler Burton on the face-offs, getting me some loose balls, too.
“So it feels pretty cool, but I would like to thank my teammates for all the help this year and hope that next year, we can turn it into an NLL championship.”
Currier, a native of Peterborough, Ont., led the league in loose-ball recoveries with 237 and set a record for most caused turnovers in a season with 62. The next closest player on the season recorded 39.
From his transition position, he also contributed big on the offence. Among defencemen and transition players, he ranked in the top 10 in points with 19. Of his 10 goals, many came at critical moments in helping the Riggers reach the playoffs, during which he collected a game-high 13 loose balls a first-round loss to the eventual-champion Colorado Mammoth.
“We truly thought Zach was our team MVP this season,” said Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky. “His transitional skills are off the charts and his ability to read the play and react to where the ball will be — rather than where it is — is second to none. His finish around the net was exceptional this season, and he scored some game-changing goals for us.”
Currier also won 56.8% of his faceoff draws through the season, taking the most he has through his NLL career and led the team in blocked shots at 11.
The soft-spoken Currier was simply clutch, tough and dynamic.
“I think anybody who’s watched a lot of lacrosse and anybody who plays in the league, they know that what he does and how many minutes he plays — some of the overhead checks and the loose-ball stuff and the other little things — it’s world class,” said teammate Del Bianco. “There’s no one else in the world can do what he does, and we’re obviously grateful that he does it for our team.”
This is the first Transition Player of the Year award for Currier, who becomes the second Roughnecks player to grab the honour since Jeff Shattler in 2011.
Currier beat out against Reid Bowering of the Vancouver Warriors and Challen Rogers of the Toronto Rock for top transition player and is up against Shattler of the Saskatchewan Rush and Jeremy Thompson of the Panther City Lacrosse Club for yet-to-be announced top teammate.
All awards were voted on prior to the start of the 2022 playoffs and were based on regular-season statistics and performances.