12-year NLL veteran forward returns to Rochester after release from Buffalo
The Rochester Knighthawks have announced the signing of 12-year National Lacrosse League veteran forward Aaron Wilson to a one-year deal. Wilson returns to the Knighthawks for the first time since the 2009 NLL season after being recently released by the Buffalo Bandits.
“I am excited. How could you not be? I am joining a team that’s won three straight championships,” Wilson said. “I just want to come in and help out in any way I can. I think the coaching staff knows what I am all about. I am looking forward to the challenge and the ride with this group.”
The prolific scorer and playmaker has collected 628 (328+300) in 179 games over his 12-year career. Wilson broke into the NLL with the Toronto Rock and won the Champion’s Cup in 2003 and 2005. Six times he has registered 50 or more points in a season. His best offensive season was in 2010, when he set career highs with 40 goals, 49 assists and 89 points. Although Wilson has proven he can score goals, he is just as valuable without the ball.
“He is a veteran, off-ball righty who always finds a way to get open, and puts himself in a good spot,” said Knighthawks Head Coach Mike Hasen. “He works hard to get his teammates opportunities.”
Wilson has played for teams in Toronto, Rochester, Minnesota, Edmonton and Buffalo. He was acquired by the Knighthawks in 2009 and posted 15 points (9+6) in six games. Wilson also has experience playing alongside Knighthawks teammates Cory Vitarelli, Matt Vinc, and Brad and Scott Self.
“He is a great finisher and one of the best off-ball players,” said Scott Self, who also played with Wilson in Buffalo. “He is great at finding holes (in the defense) and when he gets his opportunities he is able to finish.”
Knighthawks Assistant Coach Paul Day, who manages the Rochester offense, looks forward to having Wilson in the lineup.
“His nickname was 7-Eleven for always being open,” he said. “He is a great off-ball player who fills a need for us.”
Wilson played for Day and Hasen during his six-year stint with Brampton in the summer league. Wilson said he was excited to be reunited with his former coaches.
“Haser and Paul Day are easy to get along with and easy to talk to. I really appreciate that in coaches,” he said. “They are smart lacrosse minds who know what it takes to win. I am looking forward to going to practice tonight and having a successful season with them.”
Rochester will return to action on Saturday, January 3rd, when it hosts the Toronto Rock at 7:30 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. The contest, which falls during NLL Face Off Weekend 2015 presented by New Era, will kick off the 21st season of Knighthawks lacrosse.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join this group,” said Wilson. “It’s a new chapter and a fresh start for me.”