Second straight year with major award for Langley’s Mydske

Thunder defender Brett Mydske is not very pleasant to play against

Last year, Brett Mydske was the Western Lacrosse Association’s unsung hero award winner, but this time around, he has been deemed the league’s top defender.

Mydske, a 24-year-old from New Westminster, added that trophy to his collection on Thursday (Aug. 9), the second straight day a member of the Langley Thunder was honoured with one of the WLA’s top awards.

“I don’t go our for the individual awards, but I guess when you get them, it is icing on the cake,” he said.

“Obviously it is nice to win awards and stuff like that because it means you are doing something right on the floor.

“But I can’t take credit for all of it because when you are playing a team defence like ours, everybody on the floor contributes.”

Thunder coach Rod Jensen calls Mydske — a six-foot-four, 225-pound defender — a “quiet leader who is developing into a phenomenal defender.”

“He just goes about his business quietly, but I tell you, the other offensive players don’t like when he checks them.”

Mydske played his minor and his junior lacrosse in his hometown, New Westminster, before being selected by the Thunder in the 2010 draft.

This was his third full season with Langley, and he also plays professionally for the Edmonton Rush of the National Lacrosse League. Mydske has also suited up for Canada at the world indoor championships last year.

Jensen said Mydske is such a good defender because of his strength, leverage and balance.

“A lot of defenders like to beat the crap out of people but they don’t have good balance, so after they chop or whatever, the player gets around them,” Jensen said.

“And he has the long reach so he can keep the offensive player a little bit away.”

Mydske said he began focusing on defence when he was at the intermediate level.

“I like it because you get to match up against the best offensive players all the time,” he said.

“I kind of have a theory that you don’t always win or lose games on offence. When it comes down to the last 30 seconds and they have the ball, it is the defence that can ultimately lose you the game by letting them score. So I kind of like the pressure.”

He also said that as a defensive player, each game is different as to what strategy he should employ.

“Some refs call it tighter so you have to get a feel for the game,” Mydske said.

“For me, it is all about getting the offensive player in an uncomfortable situation where they feel uncomfortable and not let them dictate what they they want to do.”