The Rochester Knighthawks have signed their top two draft picks including third-rounder Mark White. (Photo: Abel Images)
The Rochester Knighthawks have signed their first two picks from the 2013 NLL Entry Draft as rookie transition players Mark White and Taylor Northway both agreed to one-year deals with the two-time defending NLL champions.
White became the first rookie from this year’s draft class to sign with the Knighthawks, who selected White with the 27th overall pick in the third round of the 2013 NLL Entry Draft. The transition player from Oakville, Ontario was elated to finally put the pen to paper on his contract.
“It’s a pretty unbelievable feeling,” said White about signing his first professional contract. “It’s pretty surreal with the whole draft, just getting drafted and picked up by Rochester. After getting sent the contract, it really puts things into perspective. I can’t wait to get to work; I can’t wait for Training Camp.”
White's summer league teammates Dan Dawson and Dylan Evans each agreed to multi-year deals after helping the Knighthawks win a second consecutive championship in 2013.
“I’m happy for the both of them,” White said. “It seems like a great opportunity for them to stick around a little bit longer. I’m happy to be joining them. It’s nice to have the opportunity to play with them again.”
The three were summer ball teammates under Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen.
“[White's] a gritty guy and he’ll go in the ‘dirty areas,’” Hasen said. “He’s not afraid to get his nose dirty and get that loose ball, and he pushes the ball up the floor very well. He’s a righty, too, so he’ll add some depth in that area.”
As a senior midfielder at the University of Southern Maine, White finished second on the team in goals (28), assists (17) and points (45). He finished his four-year career as one of the best players in program history, graduating with career records in points (147) and assists (60) while ranking second in goals (87). He was a two-time captain for the Huskies and earned First-Team All-Little East Conference honors in 2013.
Since hearing his name called at the NLL Entry Draft in September, White has been endlessly preparing for Knighthawks Training Camp. His mother, Susan, is the Facilities General Manager at the Toronto Rock Athletic Facility, where White has gladly taken advantage of the weight room.
“I’ve just been in the gym every single day and trying to keep my stick in my hands every day,” he said. “I really want to come into camp in the best possible shape I can be in and just increase my chances of making the team.”
Northway, who turns 19 on December 17th, will fly across North America to attend Training Camp later this month. The product of Delta, British Columbia, was drafted with the 37th overall pick in the fourth round. He finished his second season of junior lacrosse before getting called up. Northway was noticed by Rochester scout Kevin Hill.
"The only team that had spoken to me prior to the draft was the Stealth," Northway said. "After my junior season ended...That is where I met Kevin Hill. I built a relationship with all of the coaches...and I built a relationship with Kevin."
The duo will take the floor with their new teammates at Knighthawks Training Camp, which begins on November 23rd at the new state-of-the-art Unity Health System Total Sports Experience (TSE) in East Rochester. The back-to-back NLL champions will hold their first weekend of camp at the new West Commercial Street location.
NLL.com Knighthawks beat writer Travis Larner contributed to this report.