Goalie named Burnaby Lakers Newcomer of the Year
No player had more of an impact to his team in 2016 than this Fan's Favourite Unofficial Burnaby Lakers Newcomer of the Year winner.[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="400"] Zac Boychuk was named this Fan's Favourite Newcomer of the Year for the Burnaby Lakers. Garrett James photo[/caption]
Â Zac Boychuk had his best season to date in the Western Lacrosse Association, topping all senior A backstoppers this season in two of three goalie categories while also earning the Leo Nicholson trophy as the league's most valuable goaltender and a spot on the first all-star team in 2016.
Boychuk registered a league-best 6.94 goals against average and a WLA and career-high 0.844 save percentage for Burnaby, guiding the Lakers to third place in the regular season with an individual 9-3-1 record.
The St. Catharines, Ont. product also led the club with six separate game star mentions, two coming in the post season, including a pair of first-star nods.
In the playoffs, Boychuk sparked Burnaby's three-game push back that forced a seventh and deciding game against the Victoria Shamrocks, earning aÂ thirdÂ star mention in Game 4 and a first star nod in the following contest.
Boychuk kicked out 38 shots and recorded a 0.830 save percentage to help Burnaby get back in the playoff series after dropping the first three games to Victoria following a 10-8 win at home.
The sixth-year WLA veteran then stood on his head on the Island, making 48 saves and posting a 0.889 save percentage in the Lakers 11-6 win to earn the game's first star at the Q Center.
Boychuk was again solid in a 14-12 shootout win at home with 38 stops in the Burnaby cage to send the series back to Victoria for what would turn out to be an unsuccessful final game.
The 5-9 Boychuk was a third-round pick of the Nanaimo Timbermen in 2011 following a first all-star seasonÂ with the Delta Islanders in the B.C junior A league in 2010.
Boychuk was picked up by the Lakers from the T-Men in an off-season trade for a pair of 2018 draft picks after five seasons in Nanaimo, where he was named a second team all-star in 2012 when he posted a 9.77 goals against despite a modest 3-6-0 record in goal.[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="330"] Burnaby Lakers goalie Zac Boychuk led the WLA in goals against and with the best overall save percentage.[/caption]
While in the Hub City, Boychuk amassed monster minutes as the T-Men's starting keeper for four consecutive seasons, working a total of nearlyÂ 17 hours per seasonÂ between the pipes in 2013 and 2014, including a league-high 1,037.24 minutes in the latter year.
Burnaby was in need of a first-class stopper following last season's disappointing fifth-place finish that left the Lakers out of the playoffs following consecutive third-place and runner-up finishes over the last two years.
Boychuk was a sixth-round pick of the Toronto Rock in the 2010 National Lacrosse League draft. He is currently on the roster of the Colorado Mammoth.