Toronto adds defenders H. Smith & Pitre plus forwards Webster & Bal
The Toronto Rock have announced the signing of four players, all to one-year agreements, pending league approval. Defenders Hayden Smith and Eric Pitre along with forwards Dylan Webster and Keegan Bal will all try to earn spots with the Rock when training camp opens in less than two months.
Smith played four games with the Buffalo Bandits in 2013, his rookie season in the NLL after being selected in the 2nd round, 13thoverall by the Bandits in the 2012 NLL Draft. The 6’1”, 195-pound native of Owen Sound, Ontario, is a tenacious defender who is not afraid to mix it up. He finished the 2014 season on Buffalo’s practice roster, making Smith a free agent at season’s end.
The 23-year old capped off his two-year Junior A career by capturing the Minto Cup Canadian Junior A Lacrosse Championship with the Orangeville Northmen in 2012. He spent the early portion of his Junior lacrosse career playing for his hometown Junior B club, the Owen Sound North Stars.
Following his third round selection by the Rock in the 2013 NLL Draft, Keegan Bal was placed on the Rock’s draft list as he was committed to completing grad school in England at the University of Durham where he obtained his Masters degree in Business Management and Finance. This year, the offensive righty will come to training camp with an eye on a roster position.
Bal played his Junior A lacrosse with the New Westminster Salmonbellies and was a top-10 scorer in his final year of eligibility putting up 57 points in just 16 games. He also had a fantastic NCAA career at Lake Erie College where he was named the ECAC Division II Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2013. He established a school record with 80 points in his final year of college outdoor lacrosse.
Lefty forward Dylan Webster will bring some intangibles to the table as he is also a terrific on faceoffs. He went undrafted in the 2014 NLL Draft and has signed with Toronto as a free agent. Webster has a great touch around the net and is a pure finisher, scoring at a 20-goal per season pace throughout his 4-year Junior A career with the Brampton Excelsiors. In his first year of Junior lacrosse, he scored 50 goals in 19 games with the Halton Hills Junior B Bulldogs.
In his senior year of NCAA Division I outdoor lacrosse at Quinnipiac, Webster had his most successful season in the goal scoring department, notching 26 goals and starting all 14 games at Attack. This past summer, in his rookie season of summer ball, the Brampton native scored 9 points in 8 games and handled a great deal of the faceoff load for the club.
Eric Pitre, also a free agent addition, has played the last two summers for the Oakville Rock under the watchful eye of Toronto Rock GM Terry Sanderson who also serves in the same role for the Oakville summer Senior A club. Pitre is a physical defender who often flies under the radar. The 23-year old played his Junior A lacrosse with his hometown Toronto Beaches.
The Rock will open training camp on Saturday, November 29th at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, Ontario. The Rock will play three exhibition games in preparation for the 2015 season. Toronto’s preseason schedule will be announced soon.