Fort Worth, TX (May 16, 2023) – Panther City Lacrosse Club rookie forward Jonathan Donville has been named a finalist for the NLL Rookie of the Year Award and Head Coach Tracey Kelusky, the 2021-22 Les Bartley NLL Head Coach of the Year winner, has again been nominated as a finalist for the Les Bartley NLL Head Coach of the Year, the league announced today.
Donville is one of three finalists joined by Georgia’s goalie Brett Dobson and Las Vegas’ forward Jack Hannah. Kelusky is joined by Calgary’s Curt Malawsky and Rochester’s Mike Hasen. The winners will be announced next week leading into Game 1 of the NLL Finals.
Donville, the first overall selection in the 2021 NLL Draft, led all rookies in points (90) and assists (67) and was second amongst rookies with 23 goals. His 90 points are the fourth most ever by a rookie in NLL history and his 67 assists were the second most ever recorded by a rookie in league history, only trailing New York’s Jeff Teat who recorded 71 assists in 2021-22. Donville’s points and assists both set Panther City franchise records for most points and assists in a single season by a rookie. For his efforts this season, Donville was named the NLL Rookie of the Week five teams this season, more than any other rookies in the league.
Donville, the league’s top scoring rookie, also finished 9th in the NLL with his 67 assists. His 90 points were the 20th most in the league and he was the only rookie amongst the top 10 in assists and top 20 in points. His 29 power play assists were the most in the league and he finished tied for second in the NLL with 31 power play points. Panther City finished fourth in the NLL for their power play unit in 2022-23.
Kelusky, in his second season at the helm of Panther City, led the team to 10 wins, the first double-digit wins campaign in franchise history and also secured a playoff spot in just the team’s second season, by finishing in third place in the Western Conference. As a team, Kelusky oversaw a power-play unit that finished fourth in the NLL and recorded the second-most power play goals (44). Kelusky also oversaw the development of Rookie of the Year finalist Jonathan Donville who led all rookies in points (90) and assists (67), while leading the NLL with 29 power play assists. Kelusky was also instrumental in the growth of third-year forward Will Malcom who finished the season with 96 points (35G/61A) and became the first player in Panther City Lacrosse Club history to record a 90+ point season. Defensively, goalie Nick Damude took a massive step forward this season and helped lead the team to 10 wins, while having the third-best GAA amongst starting goalies (10.31).