The Washington Stealth announced today that third-year transition player Paul Rabil has agreed to a three-year contract with the team, pending league approval. Rabil is widely regarded as one of the best field lacrosse players in the world, and in just two seasons playing the indoor game, has made a name for himself as one of the National Lacrosse League’s top transition players.
“Paul is a threat every time he is on the floor and was a big part of last season’s NLL Championship,” said Stealth General Manager Doug Locker. “As an organization we are very happy that Paul is going to be wearing a Stealth uniform for the foreseeable future, and that he will continue to call the Pacific Northwest his NLL home. Paul makes a tremendous commitment each week to play in Washington and we wanted to acknowledge that commitment. It’s a great day for the Stealth organization and for all our fans in the Pacific Northwest.”
Rabil appeared in 15 regular season games for the Stealth in 2010, tallying 37 points on 11 goals and 26 assists. A nominee for the NLL’s Transition Player of the Year award, he also grabbed 84 loose balls and was instrumental in the Stealth’s postseason run to the NLL Championship, recording five goals, one assist and 21 loose balls in three games. He propelled the Stealth to the NLL Championship Game with three goals in a 12-11 overtime win over the Edmonton Rush in the West Division Final, including the game-winner just eight seconds into the extra frame.
“Paul is truly developing into a fantastic indoor lacrosse player,” said Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall. “He’s an explosive player and virtually impossible to handle one-on-one. He really adds another dimension to our team and in just his third NLL season, he is on the verge of becoming one of the best in the game.”
Rabil was drafted by the Stealth with the second overall pick in the 2008 NLL Entry Draft. In his rookie season, the Gaithersburg, Md., native earned NLL All-Rookie Team honors after posting 16 goals and 18 assists with 60 loose balls.
Rabil’s prowess in field lacrosse is no secret. A four-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion at Johns Hopkins University, he has continued his success in the international and professional ranks. As a midfielder for Major League Lacrosse’s Boston Cannons, Rabil was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year in 2009. At the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships last summer in Manchester, England, Rabil led Team USA to a gold medal and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Top Midfielder and was selected to the All-World team.
Now Rabil has returned his focus to the indoor game, earning a spot on Team USA’s indoor lacrosse team last month and preparing for Stealth training camp this weekend.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to get back to the Pacific Northwest, get to training camp and see all the boys again and focus on the goals we have this year,” said Rabil. “I still have a lot to learn. It’s a huge benefit to be with the Stealth and all the veteran players and coaches have really helped me along.
“Last season was unbelievable and the championship game was such an incredible experience,” he added. “I can’t wait to get back, work hard with my teammates and get out on the floor in front of the fans.”
Rabil is set to be at training camp with his Stealth teammates this weekend, as 36 players fight to make the final 23-man regular season roster. Fans will have two chances to see the Stealth in action this weekend, with open practice sessions on Saturday, December 11 from 10am-12pm and again on Sunday, December 12 from 8:30am-10:30am. Both sessions are at the Comcast Arena at Everett and are free and open to the public.
The Stealth opens the 2011 campaign on January 8, when they travel to Denver, Colo., to take on the Colorado Mammoth. The following evening, the Stealth will open the home schedule against the Calgary Roughnecks at 5pm at the Comcast Arena on “Champion’s Night”. Tickets for the 2011 season are on sale now and available by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.