The back-to-back champion Rochester Knighthawks have re-signed transition player Jimmy Purves with a two-year contract. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
The defending back-to-back champion Rochester Knighthawks have announced that the team has re-signed transition player Jimmy Purves to a two-year deal.
Purves (pronounced PURR-viss) returns to the Knighthawks after raising his first Champion’s Cup in 2013. The native of rural Sarnia, Ontario did everything he could to contain his excitement after winning his first professional title.
“I was so excited I jumped off the bench and nearly fell over on the floor,” he said. “Coming from a small town and never expecting to ever play Junior ‘A’ to going all the way to winning the championship was a feeling that’s hard to describe. It was amazing, that’s for sure.”
Rochester acquired the 23-year-old from the Buffalo Bandits at the 2013 NLL Trade Deadline. Purves played in five games for the Knighthawks and collected one goal and 15 loose balls. He joined the 2012 defending NLL Champion Knighthawks and made his Rochester debut on March 16 at home against the Edmonton Rush, along with Scott Self, who was also dealt to Rochester from Buffalo.
“Once we got used to the way everyone played, we fit in perfectly,” said Purves.
He wasted little time making a statement, applying punishing hits on two Edmonton forwards. Wearing his trademark high white socks, he was tough to miss. The self-proclaimed “ball hawk” also collected three loose balls along the way as he logged substantial minutes in his Rochester debut.
Two games later, he thrilled The Blue Cross Arena crowd with a behind-the-back goal against Philadelphia on April 6, which reached No. 6 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. Then on April 20, he was back in Buffalo with the Knighthawks to face his old team with the season on the line. In front of an NLL regular season record crowd of 19,070, Purves celebrated a 10-9 Rochester victory.
“That was a great feeling in front of a full crowd back in the old home territory,” said Purves. “It was winner takes it all and gets to go to the playoffs. It was big. I had a great time beating the boys in front of them.”
Purves finished the 2013 season by playing in a career-high 13 regular season and three postseason games. He started the season with Buffalo, where he appeared in eight games and recorded two goals, one assist and 25 loose balls. In 2012, Purves played in 12 games for the Bandits, registering seven points (4+3) and 41 loose balls. In 26 career games in three seasons, he has 11 points and 86 loose balls. The 6-0, 200-pound transition man was the Bandits’ fifth-round selection (47th overall) in the 2010 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft.
This season, Purves has the chance to make history with the Knighthawks.
“Some of the guys already have two and are looking to get a third. For me, I am playing for my second,” said Purves. “I am excited to get out there and be a part of the first team to win three championships in-a-row. It will be hard to come by, but I know I am pushing myself hard to make sure we get that third one.”