ALL West announces 2023 award winners

by Gary Ahuja

Spencer Bromley, Keegan Bell, Brayden Laity and Brandon Humphrey were recognized for their outstanding seasons as the Arena Lacrosse League West wrapped up its second season over the weekend.

Bromley won the Most Valuable Player Award – the second straight year a member of the Shooting Eagles was recognized with the honour – while Brandon Humphrey (Black Fish) won the Most Outstanding Goaltender Award. He also won the award in 2022.

The other two awards went to the Sea Spray’s Keegan Bell (Offensive Player of the Year) and the Grizzlies’ Brayden Laity (Defensive Player of the Year). The final award was the Top Coaching Staff, which went to the Shooting Eagles.

Most Valuable Player: Spencer Bromley (Shooting Eagles)

Spencer Bromley was second in the league in goals (34) and tied for third in points (61), averaging 4.7 points per game. His .327 shooting percentage was first in the league among players with 20 or more goals on the season.

The 27-year-old from Surrey is in his first season in the ALL after being picked in the first round (third overall) before this season. He played in 2022 with the Ladner Pioneers, helping the team win the President’s Cup.

“He battles on every play and creates multiple turnovers every game,” said coach Adam Smith. “And he has an ability to draw multiple players to him (defensively), creating space and opportunities for his teammates. Just a fantastic asset in all aspects of the game.”

Most Outstanding Goaltender: Brandon Humphries (Black Fish)

An in-season pickup for the Black Fish after beginning the season with the Grizzlies, but it did not matter what jersey he wore, Brandon Humphries continued to excel at stopping the ball. Humphries led the league in both goals against average (11.65) and save percentage (.791).

This also marked the second consecutive year Humphries won the award, as the 26-year-old originally from Calgary but now living in Burnaby, improved on his 2022 numbers of 12.12 and .770, respectively.

Coach Rod Jensen cited his goaltender’s positioning as a key to the success.

“He sets himself early and covers so much of the net, as well as his ability to read shooters and react accordingly,” Jensen explained about what sets Humphrey apart. “And finally, his calm composure allows the defenders in front of him to play with confidence.”

Offensive Player of the Year: Keegan Bell (Sea Spray)

Keegan Bell finished first in goals (35) and second in points (63) this past season, his second in the ALL. Playing more of a transition role last season, Bell had 14 goals and 21 points in seven games in 2022 and scored the winning goal in helping the Sea Spray capture the 2022 ALL West Championship.

The 6-5, 230-pound right-handed forward was part of the Western Lacrosse Association champion Langley Thunder in 2022 and is currently on the National Lacrosse League’s Calgary Roughnecks practice roster.

“Keegan is a big talented athletic player – who should really be in the NLL – and has been instrumental to the success of our team,” said coach Russ Heard.

Defensive Player of the Year: Brayden Laity (Grizzlies)

In a dozen games, Brayden Laity – a 19-year-old 6-2, 180-pound right-handed defender – scored eight goals and finished with 11 points. This was his second season in the ALL and he played last summer in the BC Junior A Lacrosse League, primarily with the Port Coquitlam Saints before being acquired by the Victoria Shamrocks and helping the team advance to the Minto Cup.

“Brayden has a great lacrosse IQ and instincts that could be the difference on any given night,” said coach Zack Porter.

“Brayden is a very strong, athletic defender who excels in one-on-one matchups and in transition. He is a game-changer who wants to play in the biggest role in the biggest moment. Whenever we needed a big play, he was there to make it, whether it was a goal in transition or stripping the ball on defence.”

Coaching Staff of the Year: Adam Smith, Kevin Reid, Gerry Van Beek and Terry Mosdell (Shooting Eagles)

Led by head coach Adam Smith and assistant coaches Kevin Reid, Gerry Van Beek and Terry Mosdell, the Shooting Eagles were an ALL West-best 10-4. The team was the only one among the four in the division with a positive goal differential at +28.

About the Arena Lacrosse League: Formed in 2017, the ALL is regarded as the National Lacrosse League’s minor league, and with seven Ontario-based teams in the ALL prior to the launch of the ALL West, 15 per cent of the current NLL players have played at least one game in the ALL.

The ALL plays under the same game rules as the NLL, providing high-level competition and exposure that provides NLL management and executives the opportunity to monitor individual progress through game webcasting and statistics. Game evaluations from ALL West coaches will assist in development of players who are currently on NLL practice rosters or are ready for in-season call-ups.

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