Buffalo re-signs ‘JT’, Kedoh Hill & Critch, inks 3 draft picks & 1 free agent
The Buffalo Bandits have announced the team has re-signed forward John Tavares and six additional players, all to one-year contracts for the 2015 season. All seven deals are pending league approval.
“It’s great to be back for another season in ‘Banditland,’ and I’m looking forward to another competitive season with my teammates,” Tavares said. “I believe we have a great nucleus of players in Buffalo and there’s no reason we can’t get back to being a championship team.”
Tavares enters his 24th season, all with the Bandits. He’s the all-time NLL leader in virtually every offensive category, including games played (296), goals (803), assists, (914), and points (1,717).
He’s also the franchise leader in loose balls (2,166) and holds Bandits single-season records in points (115; 2001), goals (51; 2001, 2009) and assists (64; 2001).
In addition to Tavares, the Bandits have signed forwards Alex Kedoh Hill, Tyler Ferreira and Mike Melnychenko, transition players Jordan Critch and Matthew Bennett, and defenseman Jonathan Newhouse.
Kedoh Hill was acquired at the trade deadline in 2013 from Rochester and scored six points (3+3) in five games for the Bandits that season. He did not play during the 2014 season.
Ferreira and Bennett were selected by Buffalo four picks apart in the second round of this year’s NLL Draft. Bennett (14th overall) had 20 points (7+13) in 20 games last season for the Brampton Excelsiors of the Ontario Jr. A Lacrosse League. His teammate Ferreira (18th overall) put up 33 points (14+19) in 19 games last year.
Taken 49th overall by the Bandits in the draft, Melnychenko led Chestnut Hill College with 57 points (43+14) in 13 games last season.
Critch, a 2012 second-round pick (16th overall), had five points (3+2) in five games for the Bandits in 2013 before spending last season on the practice squad.
The undrafted free agent Newhouse was a fixture on the University at Albany’s defense over the last four years, where he also chipped in three goals in 55 games played.