The back-to-back NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks have re-signed forward Craig Point to a seven-year deal through 2020. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
The Rochester Knighthawks have announced that the team has agreed to terms with Craig Point on a seven-year contract. The forward joins Dan Dawson and Sid Smith as the third member of the back-to-back NLL champions to recently re-sign through the 2020 season.
“I like it in Rochester. Curt [Styres] has treated me well and the team has treated me well,” said Point, referencing Knighthawks owner and general manager Curt Styres “We have had success the past couple of years and I want to keep it going.”
“Training Camp is coming soon and I can’t wait to get back around the guys again,” he added. “I am in a lot better shape and I am dying to get back on the floor. I can’t wait to get the season underway.”
In 2013, Point capped off his fifth season with the Knighthawks with his second-straight title. He averaged two points per game in 10 regular season contests, and was one of the keys to Rochester winning four of its last six games to return to the postseason. Point heated up by scoring five goals and adding three assists in the final three games of the season. He was clutch down the stretch as he propelled Rochester into the playoffs with a season-high four goals in a five-point effort to give the Knighthawks a 10-9 victory over rival Buffalo.
“When a guy works as hard as he did to get back into the lineup, it's contagious,” said Knighthawks forward Cody Jamieson. “Players saw the effort he put in, and it showed on the floor when he played. He got back to being the ‘Pointer’ who was voted Team MVP by his peers a few years earlier.”
Point became a force again, and an inspiration, on the Knighthawks’ offense after taking some major steps to elevate his on-the-floor performance. Not only did he hire a personal trainer, but he spent hours breaking down game film, and taking hundreds of extra shots on net to perfect his accuracy.
“Throughout the year, I practiced hard, trained hard off the floor and did whatever I could. I got down to the basic, simple stuff and worked hard in the gym and it paid off,” he said. “It showed at the end of the season. I became quicker and more agile.”
In the playoffs that hard work was evident, as he scored once in the East Division Finals and four times against Minnesota in the East Division Finals. Point sparked a late fourth-quarter rally and scored the game-winner in a 12-10 win over the Minnesota Swarm. In the NLL Championship Game, Point scored one goal and added two assists in the thrilling 11-10 win over the Stealth to give Rochester back-to-back titles for the first time in team history.
Point enters his seventh NLL season in 2014. In his career, the hard-shooting forward has 116 goals and 128 assists in 78 games. Prior to coming to Rochester, Point collected 27 goals, 34 assists and 61 points en route to NLL Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team honors in 2008. He was acquired early in the 2009 season by the Knighthawks. In 58 games, he has amassed 87 goals and 78 assists for 165 points.
After a productive offseason playing summer ball, Point is focused on trying to make history with Rochester as the first team to win three-straight titles.
“It was fun all summer doing what we did. I stayed disciplined and went to the gym when I could. A lot of people take the summer off and take a vacation, but I stayed at it and played as much lacrosse as I could,” said Point. “Once again it paid off. I got a few championships out of it and hopefully I can get another one this winter.”