Nick Vlaustin
Richmond: 211 AFL games

Nicholas Alexander Leendert Vlastuin currently plays for the Richmond Football Club in the AFL. He is a 3-time premiership player with the club, winning flags in 2017, 2019 and 2020.

Vlastuin played his junior football at Eltham in the Northern Football League before moving to the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup at the age of 14.

Vlastuin was drafted with Richmond’s first pick and the ninth selection overall in the 2012 AFL Draft.

Vlastuin made his AFL debut in round 5 of the 2013 season. In round 7 he was nominated for the 2013 AFL Rising Star after a 23 possession game against Port Adelaide. He would go on to play 18 games in his first season, recording an average of 16.3 disposals and 4.8 marks per game and placing sixth in the Rising Star award. In addition he received the Cosgrove-Jenkins award as the club’s best first-year player.

Vlastuin plays as a hybrid defender, adept at directly defending small forwards, taking intercepting marks and rebounding from defensive 50. He is highly capable at playing as a spare defender, assisting backline teammates in aerial contests while they are directly matched up on an opponent. Since the injury-absence and eventual retirement of teammate Alex Rance in 2019, Vlastuin has become particularly adept at this role as an intercept marker, leading Richmond that year in total intercepts, marks and rebound-50s. The following year he placed second among all players in the league for that stat.

Prior to the start of the 2020 season, AFL statistics partner Champion Data rated Vlastuin in the top tier elite category among general defenders in the league. At the end of that season, Vlastuin was ranked the fourth best defender and 19th among all players in the Herald Sun’s list of the best players from the 2020 season.

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