The back-to-back NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks have re-signed defenseman Dylan Evans to a three-year contract. (Photo: Jack Dempsey)
The Rochester Knighthawks retained another member of member of their back-to-back championship defense by signing Dylan Evans to a three-year deal. The announcement of Evans’ new contract comes just days after fellow defenseman Sid Smith and goaltender Matt Vinc were locked into multi-year deals.
“We were approaching the new contracts with the thought that we wanted to keep the same group of guys together, guys who know our systems and have worked with each other and have had success together,” Evans said.
Evans is entering his fourth year with the Knighthawks in the National Lacrosse League. He played in all 16 games for the first time in his career in 2013, recording career highs in penalty minutes (23) and forced turnovers (5) while collecting 50 loose balls. However, on a defense which features players such as the Paul Dawson, Mike Kirk, the Self brothers and Smith, Evans’ name often goes unspoken.
“I’m okay with that,” he said. “In defensive roles, sometimes when you’re not noticed is when you’re having your best games. You fly under the radar, and that means you’re not making mistakes.”
The Brampton, Ontario native headed to the West Coast this summer in search of another championship with Tyler Burton and Vinc, but the trio fell just short of their goal.
The 25-year-old served as Rochester’s main faceoff man in 2013. He had a team-best 81 faceoff wins, but won only 36.5 percent of his attempts. He improved dramatically over the summer, successfully winning just under 60 percent of his attempts, and finished third in the league with 145 successful draws.
“I tried a few different things up there...it’s an area I’m looking to help the team improve on moving forward in Rochester," Evans said.
Losing a summer ball finals series has added further motivation for Evans to make NLL history by winning a third consecutive Champion’s Cup with the Knighthawks. Training Camp can’t come soon enough for him.
“I can’t really put it in words how hungry it makes me,” Evans said. “Playing 40 games in the summer and coming up a game or two short leaves a bad taste in your mouth...A couple months off have got me chomping at the bit.”