The Washington Stealth announced today the signing of defenseman Eric Martin for the 2011 season, pending National Lacrosse League approval. In his six NLL seasons, Martin has made a mark for himself as one of the league’s premiere defenders, playing a major role in the Stealth’s championship run last season.
The six-foot-two, 220-pound Norfolk, Va., native played in 14 regular season and three playoff games in 2010, and finished with 15 points (3g, 12a) and a team-high 113 loose balls during the regular season and added four points (1g, 3a) and 26 loose balls in the playoffs. He tallied the biggest goal of his career in 2010’s Champion’s Cup Final, sparking an eight-goal run for the Stealth that led to the eventual 15-11 victory over the Toronto Rock.
“Eric is one of the top defenders in the NLL and we could not be happier to have him back for his seventh season with the Stealth,” said Stealth General Manager Doug Locker. “He was a huge spark for us in last year’s Championship run and goes out year after year and gets us over 100 loose balls a season. Eric is a fast, athletic, hard-nosed defender who has become one of our most valuable players out the back door. He has won Championships at every level and we look forward to having him back to defend our Championship in 2011.”
Martin, who turns 29 next month, has spent his entire career with the Stealth since being drafted by the team in the second round (12th overall) of the 2004 NLL Entry Draft. Martin has appeared in 89 regular season games and accumulated 81 points (19g, 62a) and 693 loose balls, which ranks second on the Stealth’s all-time loose balls list. He’s appeared in eight postseason games for the Stealth, tallying 11 points (3g, 8a) and 76 loose balls. He was named to the NLL West Division All-Star team in 2008, a season which he recorded career-highs in goals (9), points (19) and loose balls (151).
Martin is also one of the world’s top field lacrosse players. In July of 2010, he played for the United States National Team that won a gold medal at the World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester, England. 2010 also marked the seventh season of his Major League Lacrosse career, spending the last two seasons with the Denver Outlaws. He is a two-time MLL All-Star and MLL All-Pro.
Martin played his collegiate lacrosse at Salisbury State University (Md.), where he won a pair of NCAA Division III National Championships. He was named the NCAA Division III Player of the Year his senior season, and a two-time Division III Defenseman of the Year. He was also a two-time, first-team All-American, a Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year and a three-time All-Conference selection.
Martin and the rest of the Stealth begin training camp for the 2011 season in December, with the regular season getting underway on January 8th in Colorado. Season tickets for the Stealth’s NLL title defense are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.