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Black Wolves Sign Six For 2016

The New England Black Wolves have announced the signing of six players after agreeing to terms with Pat Saunders, Brett Manney, Bill O’Brien, Craig England, Kyle Buchanan and Jayson Crawford on new contracts for next season.

“We are excited to start building for the future of the Black Wolves,” New England Black Wolves assistant general manager Rich Lisk said. “These signings, coupled with some of our other returning players, will allow us to build a strong foundation for many years to come. We are committed to bringing a product to New England that our fans can be proud of. These are just the first steps.”

Saunders, a veteran left-handed forward, was signed to a two-year contract. He led the Black Wolves in goals (38), assists (30), points (68), shots (222) and shots on goal (153), establishing new career-highs in all of those categories. He also set a new single-season career high for loose balls (64).

O’Brien, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound defender who appeared in 17 games last year, was also signed to a two-year deal. Manney, Buchanan, England and Crawford signed one-year contracts.

In his third NLL season, Buchanan was second on the team in points (62) and goals (25), and led the team in assists (37). He established new single-season career highs for goals, shots (188), shots on goal (134) and loose balls (98).

Manney is a seven-year veteran who had a single-season career-high 64 loose balls. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound defender had a goal and seven assists in 18 games.

England is a physical defender who appeared in 13 games, collecting 34 loose balls. Crawford was drafted 34th overall in the 2014 NLL Entry Draft by the Black Wolves, but was waived during training camp. He is a left transition player who excelled for Brampton in Junior A last season.

These six players join Garrett Billings, Quinn Powless, Kevin Buchanan, Mark Cockerton, Josh Johnson, Ryan Hotaling, Sheldon Burns, Andrew Suitor, Mike Manley, Evan Kirk and Tye Belanger, who are all under contract with New England.