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New West's Josh Byrne caps MVP season with second straight NLL title

Byrne, 30, scored 133 points in 18 regular-season games, plus 33 in the playoffs, propelling Buffalo to its sixth trophy in franchise history.

A New Westminster athlete was the best men's indoor box lacrosse player in North America this past season.

Josh Byrne made out like a bandit and captured the National Lacrosse League's (NLL) top three accolades from the 2023-24 campaign, plus the championship trophy.

The 30-year-old won a second consecutive NLL Cup with the Buffalo Bandits last weekend, sweeping the Albany FireWolves 2-0 in the best-of-three finals series.

He scored 12 goals and 33 points in the playoffs, including a game-high nine points in Game 2 that helped earn him the finals MVP.

Byrne had already won the regular-season MVP and offensive player of the year nods for tallying a whopping league-best 135 points in 18 games, consisting of 53 goals and 82 assists.

In a Bandits team release, the 2012 New Westminster Secondary grad said his individual honours are a testament to the support and dedication of his entire lacrosse club.

"They are a reflection of what my teammates have done to try to support me, which is an incredible thing," Byrne explained.

"I couldn’t be happier to be part of such a great group. I’m sure you guys can see it, but we’re all so close, man. We’re all best friends and we all celebrate each other. It’s a cool thing to be a part of."

Buffalo head coach John Tavares echoed Byrne's proclamation, adding his selflessness on the floor has helped him evolve into one of the best the NLL has ever seen.

"It’s taken a little while to get to where he’s at because he’s so aware of his teammates and didn’t want to step on anybody’s toes and just kind of work his way into being the best player on our team or in the league," Tavares said.

"And you know, to get the MVP like he did, I think it’s just more than getting points. It’s what type of points he’s getting....He does everything. He’s a great team leader and he still is trying to put his teammates first."

Byrne has played six seasons with the Buffalo Bandits since coming onto the NLL scene in 2018. He's combined for 148 goals and 352 points in 71 career games in orange and black.

Before turning pro, he suited up for the New West Jr. Salmonbellies, potting 118 goals and 226 points in 43 career games.

Byrne was taken first overall by the Burnaby Lakers in the 2016 Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) draft. He suited up in 16 games and recorded 12 goals and 45 points.

On the field, Byrne also plays for the Carolina Chaos in the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL).