The WILC tournament this week will highlight exceptional indoor lacrosse talent from all over the world. Many of the top professional players are playing for a North American team; USA, Canada, or Iroquois. Many of those players are stars in the NLL or MLL, but the other teams have plenty of professional talent as well.
Rose is one of the goalies for the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League. He, along with Brandon Miller, combined to bring the Rock to the Champion’s Cup in 2015. He was drafted by the Boston Blazers and was selected by the Calgary Roughnecks in the Blazers dispersal. Later on, Rose was traded to the Rock where he emerged as one of their starting goalies.
Culp, who plays in the NLL with the Buffalo Bandits, is one of many pro players on the Israel roster. His 36 points last season were his most since he scored 46 in 2012. This is the Ontario native’s first time on the Israel roster.
Stone plays in MLL with the New York Lizards but he has one season of professional box experience. Stone played one (the only) season in the North American Lacrosse League where he played for the Boston Rockhoppers and led the league in scoring.
Israel gets a distinct advantage by having an NLL level goalie on their team with Higgins. Higgins was the starting goaltender last season with the Minnesota Swarm and will start again this season in Georgia. So many teams, including USA, don’t have professional goaltenders so this will give Israel a good shot at possibly medaling.
Gajic, who recently re-signed with the Vancouver Stealth, will be one of a couple of pro players rounding out a talented Serbia roster. Gajic has played the last two seasons with Vancouver but previously had been a member of the Colorado Mammoth. The transition man adds a professional element to their roster and his brother Alex, who is a former NLL player, is also on the roster.
Bilic is a defenseman with the Saskatchewan Rush and is coming off of an NLL championship with the team while they were in Edmonton. Bilic played with the Minnesota Swarm before he ended up with the Edmonton Rush. He and Gajic together can create a shut-down defense for what could be a surprise Serbian team.
Keogh is in the NLL with the Rochester Knighthawks. The forward will be one of the dominant scorers for a non-North American team as one of the only NLL offensive players to be with another international team.
McBride is currently an NLL free agent but he has long been the captain of the Calgary Roughnecks. He is historically an elite defender and will give Ireland a shut down player.
Snider, an NLL free agent, was the faceoff man for the Colorado Mammoth last season. He is one of the best faceoff men in the NLL and will give Ireland a distinct advantage. Ireland has one of the best faceoff men in the entire tournament.