The New England Black Wolves and Calgary Roughnecks have announced a trade with the Black Wolves acquiring reigning NLL MVP Shawn Evans and a third-round selection in the 2018 NLL Draft from the Roughnecks in exchange for forward Tyler Digby and New England’s first-round draft selections in both 2018 and 2019.
“We just added arguably the best indoor lacrosse player in the world to our roster,” said Black Wolves co-owner Mike French. “We are not just adding Shawn’s physical ability and stats, but we are adding his leadership and locker room presence. Shawn changes this team in many ways. We are extremely excited to have him as part of the pack.”
Calgary also gave New England its third-round pick in the 2018 NLL Entry Draft. In exchange, the Black Wolves gave up Tyler Digby – acquired in a trade from Vancouver on Sunday – and first round picks in the 2018 and 2019 NLL Entry Drafts.
“We are very excited to add a player of Shawn’s caliber to our group,” Black Wolves coach Glenn Clark said. “His offensive abilities are exceptional, and he will help us on our path to becoming a competitive team in this tough Eastern Conference. Shawn has one of the highest compete levels in the game and that is a trait that we want to become part of our teams identity.”
A 29-year-old forward who has played 10 seasons in the NLL with Rochester and Calgary, Evans is coming off his most productive season, finishing with career highs of 47 goals, 83 assists and 130 points. The points and assists were league highs as Evans was named NLL MVP for the second time in his career.
“I feel like, right now, I am at the top of my game,” said Evans, who has racked up three straight 100-point seasons. “The last two or three years, I’ve been putting up high numbers. I feel healthy and ready to play and continue that winning attitude. I like winning and I like being part of a team. I’m looking forward to carrying that on to New England.”
In September, Evans followed up a career year in the NLL by earning MVP accolades at the FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, where he collecting 10 goals and 25 assists while helping Team Canada win the Gold Medal. Evans was also a member of the Team Canada’s Gold Medal team in 2011.
A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Evans has enjoyed a storied career at every level of indoor lacrosse. He was a member of Rochester’s 2007 NLL Championship team, and he helped the Peterborough Lakers win four Mann Cups from 2004 through 2012. His 37 points and 32 assists in 2010 were Mann Cup records. In Junior A lacrosse, Evans was a member of Minto Cup championship teams with Peterborough in 2006 and Six Nations in 2007. He was the Minto Cup MVP in 2006.
Evans sees the ingredients of another championship with the Black Wolves.
“New England being a new team and the potential of the players they have there definitely sparked my interest,” Evans said. “I see a lot of young talent, a lot of potential and I see guys with a winning attitude. I’m just looking forward to the next step in my career, helping the Black Wolves win a championship.”
Tyler is a big, athletic presence on offence,” said Board. “He is a young player who is tough to check. He is a bull on the floor and is not shy about going to the tough areas to score. He can create space for his teammates and take the ball to the net. We are fortunate and excited to add Tyler to our attack.”
Digby, a native of New Westminster, British Columbia, recently completed his second National Lacrosse League season, recording a career-high 74 points (38 goals, 36 assists) in 18 games with the Vancouver Stealth. Selected by the Stealth in the third round, 20th overall, in the 2013 NLL Draft, Digby had an impressive 58-point debut season, finishing second in rookie scoring before being named to the 2014 NLL All-Rookie Team. He entered the NLL following a multi-sport collegiate career, playing both lacrosse and football at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania, and a successful junior career with the BCJALL’s New Westminster Salmonbellies. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound, forward spent four seasons with the Salmonbellies, tallying 251 career points (117 goals, 134 assists) over 63 games including a league-leading 89-point campaign in 2010. On Sunday, the Stealth traded Digby to the Black Wolves.
Evans, a Peterborough, Ontario native, spent four seasons in Calgary (2012-15) following a trade with the Rochester Knighthawks at the 2011 NLL Draft.
“Shawn expressed a strong desire to play closer to home and his young family of three daughters including 14-month-old twins,” said Roughnecks general manager Mike Board. “We feel this deal is one that is good for both the organization and Shawn. We wish Shawn and his family all the best and want to thank him for his contributions to the Roughnecks over the last four years.”