April 27, 2023
By Evan Lepler
Ranking individual excellence in a team sport is always tricky, interesting, and, inevitably, a bit controversial. Particularly when it’s done in the preseason, based more upon speculation extrapolated from the past rather than any empirical evidence in the present. Plus, creating a hierarchy of top players is obviously subjective, malleable, and, of course, ever-changing.
But that’s not gonna stop us!
In recent days, six AUDL analysts were tasked with ranking the best players in the league heading into the 2023 season. Panelists were told to make their selections based upon who helps you win this year and this year only, while thinking about each player independent from their team and prospective teammates. The idea is you’re starting a team with each player on the list, individually. Furthermore, for the sake of the exercise, voters were told to presume that neither availability nor health should be a factor. We’re assuming that each player would be available and healthy for the upcoming season. All players currently signed to AUDL rosters were eligible.
The list was compiled using a points system, with a first-place vote receiving 25 points, a second-place receiving 24 points, and so on.
Here were the panelists:
And without further adieu, here were the results.
- Jack Williams, New York Empire - 149
- Ben Jagt, New York Empire - 133
- Ryan Osgar, New York Empire - 133
- Eric Taylor, Carolina Flyers - 114
- Jeff Babbitt, New York Empire - 112
- Rowan McDonnell, DC Breeze - 109
- Grant Lindsley, Salt Lake Shred - 99
- Jonny Malks, DC Breeze - 92
- Jonathan Nethercutt, Colorado Summit - 85
- Pawel Janas, Los Angeles Aviators - 81
- Jordan Kerr, Salt Lake Shred - 68
- Leandro Marx, Portland Nitro - 67
- Abe Coffin, Minnesota Wind Chill - 63
- Nate Goff, Chicago Union - 58
- Raphy Hayes, Portland Nitro - 54
- Quinn Finer, Colorado Summit - 45
- John Randolph, New York Empire - 41
- Cody Spicer, Colorado Summit - 40
- Austin Taylor, Atlanta Hustle - 40
- Sol Yanuck, Carolina Flyers - 37
- Joe White, Carolina Flyers - 36
- Paul Arters, Chicago Union - 34
- Kyle Henke, Austin Sol - 30
- Jacob Fairfax, Carolina Flyers - 28
- Sean Mott, Philadelphia Phoenix - 28
Also receiving votes: Travis Dunn, San Diego Growlers (22); Liam Searles-Bohs, Carolina Flyers (22); Alex Atkins, Colorado Summit (15); Jay Froude, Colorado Summit (13); Max Sheppard, Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (12); Anders Juengst, Carolina Flyers (11); Khalif El-Salaam, Seattle Cascades (10); Mischa Freystaetter, Atlanta Hustle (10); Evan Swiatek, Austin Sol (10); Matt Gouchoe-Hanas, Carolina Flyers (8); Travis Carpenter, Indianapolis AlleyCats (7); James Pollard, Philadelphia Phoenix (7); Ross Barker, Chicago Union (6); Ben Katz, New York Empire (4); Kai Marshall, Colorado Summit (4); Bryan Vohnoutka, Minnesota Wind Chill (4); Calvin Stoughton, Colorado Summit (3); Thomas Edmonds, DC Breeze (2);Greg Martin, Philadelphia Phoenix (2); Sean McDougall, Los Angeles Aviators (2)
- Across the six ballots, 45 different players received at least one vote; only 11 players were ranked on every ballot.
- In the compiled top 25, reigning champion New York has five players, including four of the top five.
- Four players from Carolina are in the top 25, while Colorado has three.
- Chicago, DC, Portland, and Salt Lake all have two players in the top 25.
- Overall, there are players from 13 different AUDL teams ranked in the top 25, while players from three additional teams received votes.
- No one from Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Madison, Montreal, Oakland, or Toronto appeared on a ballot.
- Three top 25 players, Salt Lake’s Lindsley, LA’s Janas, and Carolina’s White are joining new teams in 2023.
- Age-wise, 10 of the top 25 players are currently in their 30s.
- The oldest member of the top 25 is Lindsley, turning 34 on May 14; McDonnell turns 34 on June 1.
- The youngest players in the top 25 are a trio of 24-year-olds: Henke, Malks, and Randolph. Malks, who just turned 24 in January, is the youngest.