The wait is finally over! After months of anticipation and speculation on who should be in the next NLL Hall of Fame Class, the NLL has announced the 20 nominees for the NLL Hall of Fame Class of 2021, which includes 17 all-time great players and three builders. Inductees will be announced in June with a ceremony planned for this fall.
The Class of 2021 will represent the first additions to the Hall since 2016. This year’s induction will also celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Hall of Fame’s establishment with the inaugural members inducted in 2006.
“This is indeed an impressive selection of candidates whose contributions to lacrosse and the NLL span several eras and the breadth of North America,” NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said. “We are honored to be continuing the tradition of honoring the greats and we look forward to selecting the next inductees for the most prestigious individual honor in our sport.”
The following 20 individuals are nominated for the Class of 2021:
Played 17 seasons for Buffalo, Edmonton, Ontario, Rochester and Syracuse. He is a four-time champion (2007, 2012, 2013 with Rochester, 2008 with Buffalo). He was named to the 2000 All-League Second Team. He retired in the top 20 all-time in games played (237), goals (391), points (827) and loose ball recoveries (1,069). He retired fourth all-time with 58 playoff goals and fifth with 99 playoff points
Played 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Wings after being drafted in the fifth round of the 1997 Entry Draft. He is a two-time champion (1998, 2001). He was named All-League First Team in 1999 and All-League Second Team in 2001. His 43 goals and 86 points during the 2001 season still ranks in the top 10 in franchise history. He retired in the top 20 all-time with 301 assists and 557 points.
Played 19 seasons with Ontario, San Jose and Toronto. A six-time champion with Toronto (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2011) and was named the Championship Game MVP three times (1999, 2002, 2005). He won the 1998 Rookie of the Year award and 2005 MVP award. He was an All-League First Team member four times and Second Team seven times. He finished fourth all-time in goals (527), assists (857) and points (1,384) and tied for fifth all-time in games played (266). He was a two-time scoring champion (2005, 2009).
Played 13 seasons with Detroit, New England, Philadelphia and Toronto. He is a five-time champion: four with Philadelphia (1994, 1995, 1998, 2001) and one with Toronto (2003). He was named to the All-League First Team in 1998 and twice Second Team (1994, 1996). He retired as the all-time league leader with 143 games played, sixth all-time in goals (235), third all-time in assists (329), fifth all-time in points (564) and 11th in loose ball recoveries (631). Finneran held the record for longest consecutive games played streak at 139 games and was the all-time leading scorer by an American prior to Casey Powell breaking his record.
John Grant Jr.
Played 17 seasons with Rochester and Colorado after being first overall in 1999. He retired in the top 10 all-time with 668 goals (second), 778 assists (sixth), and 1,446 points (second). He was also 12th all-time with 1,202 loose ball recoveries. He won the 2000 Rookie of the Year Award and won league MVP twice (2007, 2012). He was named to the All-League First Team six times and Second Team three times. He led the league four times in goals (2005, 2006, 2007, 2012). He was also named the Championship Game MVP in 2007. He set the record for points in a season in 2012 at 116, which has since been surpassed and now ranks tied for fourth highest in league history. His 37 goals as a rookie is still tied for fourth best. In his 2012 MVP season, he averaged 8.29 points per game, an NLL record (at least 4 games played).
Played 11 seasons with Rochester, Anaheim, New York, Orlando, Boston, and Colorado after being selected first overall in the 1998 Entry Draft. In 2010, he became the only American player to win the MVP award, he finished second in the NLL in goals scored and led the Orlando Titans to an 11-5 record as their leading scorer. He retired 10th All-Time with 33 playoff goals in only 13 playoff games. Powell is the all-time leader in points by an American in league history
Played 17 seasons with Columbus and Buffalo after being selected seventh overall in the 2002 Entry Draft. His 266 games tie him for fifth and 459 goals ranks him sixth all-time. He is one of only 11 players to record 1,000 points during his career. He was the 2008 Championship Game MVP, scoring five goals and recording an assist. He was named the 2008 Transition Player of the Year and was named 2009 All-League Second Team
Played 17 seasons with Ontario, Toronto, Buffalo, Rochester, and Edmonton. He is a two-time champion, one with Toronto (1999) and one with Rochester (2007). He retired as one of only eight players to accumulate 1,100 career points. He finished in the top 10 all-time in games played, goals, and assists. He played a league-best 230 consecutive games from 2000-2014. He was named to the All-League First Team in 2004 and Second Team in 2007.
Sandy Chapman played 17 seasons with Rochester and Toronto after being drafted in the first round, 12th overall in the 2001 Entry Draft. His 252 regular season and 31 playoff games rank in the top 10 all-time. He is a five-time champion four with Toronto (2002. 2003, 2005, 2011) and one with Rochester (2007). He was named the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year. He played in 148 consecutive games from 2007-2016.
Glenn Clark played nine seasons in the NLL (1998-2006), spending most of his time with Toronto after being drafted in the fourth round of the 1997 Entry Draft. He is a four-time champion with Toronto (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003). He appeared in three consecutive All-Star games (2004-2006).
Played 11 seasons in the NLL for Arizona, Columbus, Minnesota, and Rochester after being selected fifth overall in the 2001 Entry Draft. He served as the first captain in Minnesota franchise history from 2005-2011. He won the 2012 championship with Rochester. Cousins won the Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons in 2007 & 2008. He was the first player to win multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards after its introduction in 2002. He was selected to play in All-Star games in 2004, 2005 & 2009.
Played 17 seasons with Charlotte, Rochester, Buffalo and Toronto. He is a three-time champion: twice with Rochester (1997 & 2012) and once with Buffalo (2008). He was named the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year. At the time of his retirement, he was third all-time in loose ball recoveries (1,593), second in penalty minutes (470) and seventh in games played (219). He led Buffalo three times in loose ball recoveries (2002, 2004, 2006). He also ranks in the top 10 all-time in playoff games played (31), loose ball recoveries (198) and penalty minutes (51).
Billy Dee Smith
Played 16 seasons with Buffalo and Rochester after being drafted third overall in the 2002 Entry Draft. He won the 2008 Championship with Buffalo. He won the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year Award. He retired as the all-time leader in penalty minutes for the regular season (685) and playoffs (83) and was also tied for seventh all-time with 29 playoff games played.
Played for 15 seasons, all with Rochester. He is a two-time champion (1997, 2007). He is the franchise leader with 193 games played, 966 loose ball recoveries and 385 penalty minutes. He also holds playoff franchise records in games played (24), loose ball recoveries (114) and penalty minutes (55). His 966 loose ball recoveries ranked 11th all-time when he retired.
Played for 15 seasons with Ontario, Toronto, Rochester, San Jose, Colorado, and Edmonton after being drafted in the sixth round of the 1997 Entry Draft. He is a five-time champion: four with Toronto (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003) and one with Rochester (2007). He was named the first winner of the Transition Player of the Year Award in 2007. He retired in the top 10 all-time with 1,562 loose ball recoveries in the regular season and an additional 160 in the playoffs. He played in 188 consecutive games between 2000-2011, which ranks tied for the third longest streak of all-time.
Bill Voelker played for seven seasons with Philadelphia after being drafted in the fifth round of the 1991 Entry Draft. He is a three-time champion (1994, 1995, 1998). He was named to the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2015. He retired fifth-all time with 14 playoff games played.
Cam Woods played 15 seasons for Albany, San Jose, Chicago, and Toronto after being selected 18th overall in the 1997 Entry Draft. He won the 2011 Championship with Toronto. He was named a co-winner of the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was a four-time All-Star (2002, 2004, 2007, 2009). He retired eighth all-time in loose ball recoveries (1,371) and penalty minutes (414). He was named captain for Albany for the 2001 season and retained the title through the 2007 season with Chicago.
Roy Condon worked as an NLL Official from 1989-2011 (23 seasons). He worked three Championship Games (1994, 1995, 1999). He is scheduled to be the seventh official inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. He started refereeing in 1971.
Bill Fox worked as an NLL Official from 1992-2011 (20 seasons). He worked six Championship Games (1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2010). He is the 2010 Recipient of the Allen G. Rae Builder Award from Sports Officials Canada that recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the development of sports officials and the advancement of the sports officiating profession.
Rich Tamberino started his officiating career in the Eagle Lacrosse League as a goal judge. Then he worked as an NLL Official from 1988-1998 (11 seasons). He worked six Championships (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997 and the 1998 Championship Series). From 1998-2001 he served as the Deputy Director of Officials in the NLL. Then Tamberino served as NLL Director of Officials for six seasons (2003-2008).
Let us know which of the nominees you think are most deserving in the comments or on social media.