ROCHESTER – There has been a lot of activity for the Rochester Knighthawks as they prepare for the 2017 National Lacrosse League season, following a disappointing 7-11 season last year.
The Knighthawks announced that they have re-signed forward Joe “Haodais” Maracle and agreed to terms with free agent defenseman John Rae.
“I am very pleased to be back with the Knighthawks,” said Maracle. “It’s a great organization, from the coaching staff all the way up to the management team and players. We have a great group of guys. I can’t wait for the start of Training Camp.”
Maracle returns for his second season in Rochester after being acquired on March 29 from the Georgia Swarm.
Quinn Powless signed a four-year contract with the Knighthawks earlier this summer, as did Joel Matthews. Powless returns for 2017, his second season with the Knighthawks.
“They both have been working hard this offseason and need to continue to work to get to the next level,” said Knighthawks assistant coach Paul Day. “We need young players to step up and contribute to be successful.”
Knighthawks Owner, Governor and General Manager Curt Styres has appointed Gewas Schindler as the Alternate Governor for the franchise.
“I couldn’t be more honoured to be asked to be on the Board of Governors,” said Schindler. “It’s the next step in my life to be a part of something at such a high level and work for a world-class organization like the Knighthawks.”
Free agent and former Knighthawk, Wenster Greene was also signed to a one-year contract for 2017. Green was a member of the K-hawks practice squad before ending up with the Swarm last year.
“My last experience here was great,” he said. “The coaches and team are great from top to bottom, so I am really excited to be back. I can really see myself fitting in well and playing a big role with the Knighthawks this year.”
Cory Vitarelli is re-signed to a new three-year contract, Scott Self will be back as well as Adam Bomberry who inked a two-year deal.
There are still a lot of spots to fill with returnees or new talent, but it is clear the Knighthawks want a much better season in 2017.
Along with several carefully selected Knighthawks from last season, which they have signed or hope to sign for 2017, there will also be new acquisitions. One of these is transition man Andrew Suitor from the New England Black Wolves in exchange for defenseman Derek Searle, the 29th overall pick in the 2016 NLL Entry Draft and a second-round pick in the 2019 Draft. By trading for Suitor, the Knighthawks have added a well-decorated veteran who will help the team on and off the floor. The 27-year-old arrives in Rochester after an impressive six seasons in the National Lacrosse League.
Suitor spent the majority of his career with the Minnesota Swarm after being selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NLL Entry Draft.