The defending champion Rochester Knighthawks signed veterans Ian Llord and Tom Montour to one-year contracts this week. The deals were two of nine announced by the Knighthawks, as Rochester also agreed to one-year contracts with Cody Hawkins, Matt Hummel, Chris Attwood, Cody McLeod, Josh Kacprzak, Mark Farthing and Miller Rusbridge.
Eight of the players recently attended the Knighthawks Open Tryouts the weekend on October 26-27. Llord was personally invited by team Owner and General Manager Curt Styres. He also got a friendly nudge from fellow St. Catharines, Ontario native and Knighthawks team captain Pat McCready.
“I am really glad that I did because he’s been treating us well and this is only the Open Camp,” said Llord after Day Two of Open Tryouts. “I can just image what it’s like in the real camp and playing for the Knighthawks full time, if I am that lucky.”
Llord comes to Rochester after spending five of his six seasons in the NLL with the Knighthawks’ thruway rivals, the Buffalo Bandits. He was drafted in the first round by Philadelphia in the 2006 NLL Entry Draft and spent the 2007 season with the Wings. He was eventually traded to Buffalo, where he played 65 games with the Bandits since 2008. In his first season with Buffalo, Llord won the Champion’s Cup alongside current Knighthawks Mike Accursi and Kyle Laverty.
Montour enters his 11th season in the NLL in 2012 after spending the last four seasons in Buffalo. Originally drafted by the Toronto Rock in 2002, the transition man has played for four teams. The 30-year-old won a Champion’s Cup in 2003 with the Toronto Rock. In his career, he has collected 153 points and 646 loose balls in 105 professional games. Last season, he recorded 12 points and 72 loose balls in nine games. Internationally, the Six Nations product played for the Iroquois Nationals at the 2011 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships.
Llord and Montour headlined the signing of four draft picks and three free agents. Rochester signed 2012 NLL Draft picks in Hawkins, Hummel, Attwood and McLeod. Hawkins, who hails from Delta, BC, was Rochester’s second selection in the draft with the 29th overall pick in the third round.
“I know I have a lot to learn, but I am excited to get around the veterans,” he said. “I just want be a sponge, learn from those guys, shut my mouth and listen to everything I can.”
Another draft pick invited to Training Camp is Hummel, who played at Mercyhurst University, where he finished third on the team with 15 goals and fifth with 22 points. In the fourth round, Hummel was drafted by his favorite NLL team.
“Growing up I watched many NLL games and Rochester was always an elite team, so to have the opportunity to step on the floor with top-caliber players is an opportunity of a lifetime. The only NLL jersey I have ever had is a Rochester Knighthawks jersey,” he said.
Rochester also signed highly-decorated scorer Chris Attwood out of St. Catharines, Ontario. Attwood is the all-time single-season point leader for the Six Nations Junior “B” Rebels with 134 points.
McLeod, another stout defenseman, will try to crack the Rochester lineup. He was excited to participate in the team’s Open Tryouts this past Friday and Saturday. “I liked the pace,” said McLeod. “I can get better as a whole and work a little bit harder. I tried to prove myself.”
The Knighthawks also continued to build their roster with the signing of Josh Kacprzak, Mark Farthing, and Miller Rusbridge to one-year contracts. Kacprzak, a Rochester native, played his high school football and lacrosse at the Aquinas Institute. Kacprzak graduated from the New York Institute of Technology in 2010, where was an All-East Coast Conference Honorable Mention his senior year. The defender led the Bears with 14 caused turnovers as a junior and 12 as a senior. He collected 64 ground balls in his two seasons with NYIT.
The K-Hawks also signed Mann Cup champ Mark Farthing. In 2012, he played for the Peterborough Lakers alongside current Knighthawks Brad Self and Cory Vitarelli. Farthing was originally selected in the sixth round of the 2010 NLL Entry Draft by the Colorado Mammoth.
Hailing from Guelph, Ontario, Miller Rusbridge already has experience playing for Rochester Head Coach Mike Hasen. For the past two seasons, Rusbridge has played for the Brampton Excelsiors, who are coached by Hasen. In 2011, the Excelsiors won the Mann Cup. Rusbridge also has a Minto Cup victory under his belt, having won the title with current Knighthawks Cody Jamieson and Craig Point with the Six Nations Arrows.
The Knighthawks will begin Training Camp on Saturday, November 24th at Total Sports Experience in Gates.