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Suitor, Gilbert collect All-Pro honors

05/17/2012, 12:08pm CDT
By mnswarm.com

Suitor (1st Team) & Gilbert (2nd Team) are both first time All-Pro recipients

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The National Lacrosse League (NLL) today announced that Minnesota Swarm T Andrew Suitor (1st selection) has been named to the All-Pro First Team and that D Jeff Gilbert (1st selection) has been selected to the All-Pro Second Team. Suitor and Gilbert both played instrumental roles in helping the Swarm reach the West Division Finals for the first time in team history and finish 9-7 in the regular season. Thursday marks the first time since 2007 that two Swarm players were named recognized with All-Pro honors in the same season.

Suitor, 23, was named the NLL Transition Player of the Year earlier this week after he recorded a career-high 26 points (15g, 11a), 120 loose balls and 25 forced turnovers in 16 games this season. Suitor ranked third in the NLL in forced turnovers and eighth in loose balls. The Orangeville, Ontario native was the Swarm’s team captain in 2012 and was the youngest player in the league to sport the ‘C’ on his jersey. Suitor was also a two-time recipient of the Transition Player of the Week award.

Suitor joins current F Ryan Benesch and former D Ryan Cousins as the only Swarm players to earn All-Pro First Team honors.

“To get named as an All-Pro in this league means that you not only had an incredible year for your team, but you were also recognized throughout the league as an elite player by general managers and coaches alike,” head coach and associate general manager Joe Sullivan said. “No surprise to me to see Andrew Suitor on the All-Pro team after winning Transition Player of the Year on Tuesday. He had a phenomenal season on and off the floor. This is just another feather in his cap and quite honestly another feather in the Swarm’s cap as far as producing great, young talent. Andrew is going to be around for a long time and I’m sure he’s going to continue to do what he does on the floor and lead the Swarm to even a better season next year.”

In his first season with the Swarm, Gilbert, 28, ranked second in the NLL with 26 forced turnovers and finished third on the Swarm with 66 loose balls in 16 games. The Barrie, Ontario native also tied a career-high 11 points (2g, 9a) and posted two shorthanded goals in the Swarm’s 15-7 win in Washington on February 24. In his return to Washington a month later on March 25, Gilbert recorded a season-high six forced turnovers.

Minnesota acquired the fourth-year defenseman this past offseason in a trade with the Toronto Rock. Gilbert joins former G Nick Patterson among Swarm players to earn All-Pro Second Team honors.

“I don’t think Jeff gets enough accolades for what he does,” Sullivan said. “He’s such an integral part of what we’re all about and his leadership and experience along with the way he lends himself to other players to make them better and compete harder every game is second to none. I’ve been around a lot of great players and Jeff is right up there with the best of them. Again, no surprise to me or anyone else on the Swarm staff to see Jeff Gilbert recognized by the general managers and coaches alike throughout the league.”

The All-Pro awards were voted on by the league's board of governors, general managers and head coaches.

First Team All-Pro
Forward - John Grant, Colorado (8th selection)
Forward - Garrett Billings, Toronto (1st selection)
Forward - Dan Dawson, Philadelphia (7th selection)
Transition - Andrew Suitor, Minnesota (1st selection)
Defenseman - Kyle Rubisch, Edmonton (1st selection)
Goaltender - Mike Poulin, Calgary (1st selection)

Second Team All-Pro
Forward – John Tavares, Buffalo (18th selection)
Forward – Cody Jamieson, Rochester (1st selection)
Forward – Shawn Evans, Calgary (1st selection)
Transition – Brodie Merrill, Philadelphia (5th selection)
Defenseman – Jeff Gilbert, Minnesota (1st selection) (co-winner)
Defenseman – Mike Carnegie, Calgary (1st selection) (co-winner)
Goaltender – Aaron Bold, Edmonton (1st selection)

 

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