Lee Zink has been named the MLL Defenseman of the Year for the second consecutive season based on votes from the MLL’s coaches and general managers, the league announced on Wednesday.
Zink’s award was a unanimous selection, as the ninth-year pro received all 16 first-place votes.
“It’s such an honor to be named Defensive Player of the Year. This has been a really special season with a great team. I think everything has really come together to lead to the success we’ve had on the field so far. I’m really excited for this weekend to try to win a championship.
“It’s pretty unbelievable. A special thanks to all the coaches and GMs. It’s a great honor.”
Zink earned his first Defenseman of the Year Award of his career in 2012 and followed that season with another lockdown campaign. This year opponents’ top attackmen average just .7 goals per game in one-on-one matchups against Zink.
Zink is the first player to win consecutive Defenseman of the Year awards since Brodie Merrill earned the honor six straight seasons (2006-11).
The award is the second Defenseman of the Year honor won by an Outlaws player in the team’s history with the first being Zink’s same accolade in 2012. It marks the fourth year-end honor awarded to a Denver player this season, joining Goalie of the Year Jesse Schwartzman, Most Improved Player Drew Snider and Coach of the Year Jim Stagnitta.
“Lee is a mature, agile, lockdown defender who has such a calming influence on the field,” MLL Goalie of the Year Jesse Schwartzman said. “It is such a pleasure to play behind Lee and watch him go to work.”
The Outlaws’ four year-end honors tie for the most ever awarded to one team in a season, joining the Philadelphia Barrage (2004).
As the league’s top playoff seed, the Outlaws will play in the MLL semifinals against the Charlotte Hounds at 1 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Aug. 24 at PPL Park in Philadelphia. That game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.