Inside Lacrosse has Joel McCready at #37 on their top 50 player rankings. The Following is what staff members of Inside Lacrosse had to say about Joel:
We’ve all got that buddy who doesn’t think twice about jumping into the thicket, crawling under the car, or dressing the fish you just reeled in. They’re not pleasant jobs, but they’re necessary jobs.
That’s what Joel McCready is in lacrosse. He’s the guy who does whatever he’s asked to do to ensure a team’s success and sometimes, he doesn’t even need to be asked. He just recognizes what needs to be done and makes sure that it is. This is just part of his lacrosse IQ and his soaring work ethic that makes this right-handed forward out of St. Catharines the player that he is, which is one of the 50 best in the game today.
There are many observers who point to McCready as a key piece to Rochester’s 3-year run of National Lacrosse League championships from 2011 to 2014. He’s the guy who plowed lanes for fellow forwards. He motored to and from the bench so no one else was hung out to dry. Basically, he did what was needed to be done, the kind of stuff that doesn’t get a lot of love on the stat sheet or recognition outside the locker room.
But the Knighthawks knew what they had in McCready, and so did the Vancouver Stealth. That’s why there was no hesitation to include him in a 2015 trade package. And while it may not have quite worked out in terms of a playoff berth for the Stealth, McCready provided much of the same work he did in Rochester and even had himself a career year offensively with 51 points (30 goals, 21 assists).
The role and the approach doesn’t change for McCready when he’s playing summer lacrosse with the Langley Thunder of the Western Lacrosse Association. He posted 13 points (6-7) in 10 games for a playoff squad, even if that playoff stay was shorter than hoped.
Lots of player have lots of themes about their style and approach to the game. Some score, some stop and some move the ball. When it comes to McCready, it’s all about rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. Few work as hard as he does, and it’s this ethic that puts McCready among the Top 50 players today.
How can you not like Joel McCready? His work ethic is through the roof, he gets the grunt jobs done. For every successful team there are hard working guys working their trenches. Could it be a coincidence that when McCready left Rochester the string of cups ended? Possibly so. McCready will have his hands full in 2016 setting up Rhys Duch and Garrett Billings.
McCready had a breakout season in 2015. He’s always been a good teammate who was willing to do the work to open space for the players around him. In 2014 McCready started to show more of an offensive aptitude as well, scoring 29 points in 10 games with Rochester. He maintained almost exactly the same pace but got into all 18 games last season, leading to him shattering that previous career high of 29 points with 30 goals and 21 assists. He has an infectiously positive attitude that is underlined by his willingness to do whatever his coaches ask of him. That’s why he was named the NLL’s teammate of the year and why the Stealth insisted that he be included in the trade that brought Johnny Powless to Vancouver for a brief stint.
The type of work McCready does is not without its share of pain, and it takes a special player to gear up for that role time in and time out, knowing what kind of punishment is in store. But McCready not only does this, he does it well. Almost relishes it. The bonus is that he’s been making strides in his offensive output, giving his teams the beautiful combination of a grinder who can finish a shift with a goal or assist. He’s an invaluable and necessary asset for any team in any league.’
*Courtesy of Inside Lacrosse