Monday evening, the Rochester Knighthawks will reload their roster by selecting four of the first 14 players in the National Lacrosse League Entry Draft. Fans can tune into NLLTV to watch the newest members of the Knighthawks take center stage at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre on Sept. 18. Draft coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with the Pre-Draft Show.
The Buffalo Bandits will open the draft at 7 p.m. by making the first overall selection. Rochester will follow by taking the next player and will then select players with the fifth and sixth overall picks. The Knighthawks have six picks in this year’s draft as they also own the 14th, 44th and 52nd selections.
“We are excited for the opportunity to select four times in the Top 14 of the upcoming draft,” said Knighthawks scout Stuart Brown. “We think that there are players in that range who can make us better, and we intend to improve our team with each pick.”
The Knighthawks have three selections in the first round of the NLL Entry Draft for only the second time in 24 years. The only other time was back in 2010 when Rochester selected Cody Jamieson first overall before picking Jarrett Davis (fifth) and Ryan McClelland (10th).
At the 2016 Draft, Rochester had back-to-back first-round picks and made them count. The Knighthawks grabbed Josh Currier sixth overall and then took Kyle Jackson with the seventh pick in the draft. Both players were named to the NLL All-Rookie Team. Jackson finished second on the team and second among NLL rookies with 60 points, while Currier tied for third on the team with 18 goals and finished fifth with 35 points.
For Mike Accursi, who was promoted to assistant coach, this year will mark the second time he will sit at the draft table. The former 17-year NLL pro said Rochester has the chance to keep rebuilding a roster that has recently seen an influx of young talent.
“We started this plan last year,” he said. “This is year two of our plan and we’re reloading with talented, young guys who are going to push our pace and push us to a point where we can get back to that championship.”
Rochester will open the 2017-18 season on Saturday, Dec. 9 against the Calgary Roughnecks at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena.