By Avry Lewis-McDougall
Nine teams in nine days is underway! As we get closer to the NLL season Mike and myself will preview all of the teams in the league, I will handle the Eastern division teams while Mike will do previews for the Western division teams and the Rochester Knighthawks are up first.
The defending NLL champs are back and ready for a run at repeating as league champs.
Last year, the Knighthawks knocked off the Edmonton Rush at home in the Champion's Cup as they were carried by Cody Jamieson who had 36 goals and 49 assists for a 85 point season in a playoff run that shocked many including the entire country of Benin, and George W. Bush.
The big splash for the club this year has been the trade of Paul Rabil, Jordan Hall, Robbie Campbell, Joel White and two 2nd round picks in the 2014 NLL draft to Philadelphia for both of the Dawson brothers, Dan and Paul as well as a first round pick in the 2016 draft.
Dan Dawson, had a 103 point year for Philly in a year that saw him lead the Wings to the post season but fall short in the Eastern division semi final to Rochester in 2012.
Paul, scooped up 53 loose balls playing in 16 games last year and was a rock defensively for Philly.
With the addition of the Dawsons, Rochester becomes that much more of a dynamic team and should be easily able to put up 10-12 goals a night come January.
Rochester will also have the 2010 NLL player of the year, Casey Powell, this season. Powell was originally taken by the Knighthawks in last year's dispersal draft of the Boston Blazers. Powell did not play last year in the NLL and spent the 2012 season as a colour commentator for the NLL's games on the CBS Sports Network.
The Knighthawks also have Matt Vinc back in the net who had a so-so regular season but caught lightining in a bottle in net during the playoffs with a record of 3-0 and a save percentage of .807 which was tops among goaltenders during the postseason.
So this equals to ROCHESTER WILL SCARE THE PANTS AND PROBABLY THE DENTURES OFF OF MOST TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE!