By Alex Hinkley
It's always tough being the new guy somewhere, especially when people have high expections of you. Being the first overall pick in the 2010 NLL Entry Draft and joining the Rochester Knighthawks is surely both exciting as well as stressful for Cody Jamieson. He will have an especially tough road ahead next season, however, now that John Grant Jr. is out of the picture.
While many hardcore lacrosse fans know who Cody Jamieson is, equally as many probably have no idea. Jamieson first made a name for himself by leading the Six Nation Arrows to four straight championships in the OLA Junior A Lacrosse League. During his first season of college lacrosse at Onondaga Community College, he lead the Lazers to an undefeated championship and finished second in the league in scoring with 57 goals and 121 points. The next year, he lead the league in goals (65), assists (51), and points (116) on the way to a second consecutive undefeated season and national championship. He then transferred to Syracuse University but due to academic reasons was restricted to playing only the final few games of the season. He made his mark in the NCAA Championship game, however, when he scored the game winning goal in overtime to give Syracuse the title. Jamieson also had an incredible season last year with the Six Nation Chiefs of Major Series Lacrosse, netting 48 goals and adding 48 assists for 96 total points in just 17 games. For such a young player, Jamieson has already had a storied career.
When John Grant Jr. was traded recently, some fans were wondering why the Hawks would let their franchise player go. Although adding an elite caliber goaltender like Matt Vinc to the roster was obviously a huge reason for the trade, Jamieson joining the team also most likely played a part. There's only one ball out there and both he and Grant wouldn't have been able to hog it. Now that Grant is gone, it frees up Jamieson for much more floor time each game which allows him to take more shots and (hopefully) score more goals.
Many Knighthawks fans will expect even more out of Jamieson now that he can be seen as replacing John Grant on offense. It would be unrealistic to expect a rookie, even one as talented as Jamieson, to immediately enter the league and dominate on the level that John Grant has for so many years. Even if Jamieson ends up having an amazing season, if he falls short of matching the level of play Grant has given to the Knighthawks, suspicious fans might even start to dislike him. Grant's are definitely big shoes to fill.
It will be interesting to see where Jamieson fits into the offense and how the loss of Grant will affect the Knighthawks' style of play. One thing that is for sure is that he certainly has his work cut out for him.