It was not too long ago Keegan Bal was biding his time playing Senior B summer lacrosse in Alberta for the St. Albert Miners. A few NLL teams had given him a look, but none of those opportunities materialized into a substantial role. At one point during this time, Bal was questioning his future in the sport. A few years later Keegan Bal is considered by some as the best free agent signing in recent NLL memory.
Three seasons into his Vancouver Warriors tenure Bal is seemingly getting better with age and is putting together one of the most impressive point producing seasons in Vancouver lacrosse history. In 16 games, the 30-year-old from Coquitlam has potted 42 goals (T-2nd in the NLL) to go along with 53 helpers for 95 points, which is good for 7th in the NLL point scoring race. With still one more game to play this season, there is a chance Keegan can win the league’s goal scoring title.
It is one thing to be a shooting threat, and another to be a playmaking passing threat, but Bal has the unique ability to be a dual threat which constantly leaves defenders on their toes. If the opposition takes away his passing lanes he’s going to take the defender underneath and drive the net, and if they take away his scoring lanes he will find the open teammate for a quality scoring opportunity.
His impressive offensive output is obvious, but what may be overlooked is his ability to battle for rebounds and loose balls which lead to valuable extra scoring opportunities for the Warriors offence. A total of 88 loose balls for Keegan is good for third on the entire Warriors roster, trailing only defenders Taylor Stuart (91) and Reid Bowering (191).
What separates Keegan from a good chunk of other NLL players is his work ethic – showing up to the rink early every game, and treating each shift like a championship is on the line are just two of many examples. Bal has an uncanny ability to make anybody wonder: does Keegan Bal “play” lacrosse, or does he work lacrosse? His production this season leaves many inclined to think it’s the latter.
The Warriors will wrap up their season with FIRST NATIONS NIGHT at Rogers Arena on Saturday April 30, opening faceoff at 7 PM. For single game tickets, flex packs, group tickets and VIP suites for the Warriors home games are on sale at tickets.vancouverwarriors.com/.