Rochester Knighthawks Outlook for the 2021/22 NLL Season

Compiled and Written by Kevin Neibauer
Lax Philly – A division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

Rochester is coming off a 2 – 10 Season which saw them land in 4th position of the NLL North Division.

NEW FACES: 

Evan Kirk (G), Defensemen Dan Coates, Matt Gilray and Mike Manley, and John Wagner in Transition.

KEY LOSSES:

Goaltenders Craig Wende and Steve Fryer, and defenseman Frank Brown.

Head Coach Mike Hasen needed defensive help and acquired Matt Gilray from Buffalo along with the 54th pick in the draft,  In exchange Hasen gave up the first round pick (19tj overall) next season, as well as their second round pick in the 2023 entry draft.

DEFENSE:

Defense surely needed to be shored up as the Knighthawks were first in the league with shots allowed, that equated to allowing the second most goals.  Frustration would build and penalties built up resulting in the squad having the third most penalties.  Things were not much better on the offensive side. A -49 goal differential may have been the reason behind the arrival of Evan Kirk to go between the pipes.

OFFENSE:

Quite frankly, there wasn’t enough.  The upside being Shawn Evans who moved into 6th all time in league history with 1230 points, which makes him number two among active players.

DRAFT:

The Knighthawks were very busy and brought in 8 new faces.  A flurry of trades which included swapping two draft picks to Vancouver for the 3rd and 28th picks.  With the number three pick Rochester chose Ryan Smith.  A prolific scorer from Robert Morris who scored 146 points but, will return to the school. 

John Wagner and Darryl Robertson were acquired in a trade.  Wagner is a former two time All-Big East player of the year.

The 28th selection was shipped to Colorado for Jeff Wittig.  Kevin Owen Hill and Jared Connors were third round picks.  Connors, however, is returning to Virginia.  Mitch Ogilvie was the lone 4th Round selection.  John Vezina was the final pick for Rochester at the number 70.

If all pans out, the Knighthawks should be a vastly improved club in 2021/22 season.

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game 10 years ago. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob had an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Mr. Groob also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.

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