January 3, 2012

Team Makeover: Rochester Knighthawks Edition

Cody Jamieson leads a Rochester team that continues to be remade under owner and general manager Curt Styres.
© Rich Barnes

by Neil Stevens | LaxMagazine.com

Rochester Knighthawks

2011 Record: 10-7; lost to Toronto in East semifinal

Offseason: Traded away former staples Shawn Williams and Shawn Evans

Owner and general manager Curt Styres continues his remake of the Knighthawks as the pro destination for players he's watched progress through the ranks in his home Six Nations community in southern Ontario.

Williams and Evans were Rochester's top scorers last season, and now they're gone.

Styres made quite the splash at the entry draft. With the No. 2 pick, he grabbed star Syracuse forward Stephen Keogh, who displayed his impact-player status in senior summer ball at Six Nations alongside several Knighthawks, including Cody Jamieson. Styres then boldly traded Evans to Calgary for the No. 5 pick so he could draft teenaged sensation Johnny Powless.

The most intriguing move by Styres was getting 2010 NLL MVP Casey Powell in the dispersal draft. A question mark surrounds Powell, the highest scoring American player in indoor lacrosse history, because of an August knee injury. He begins 2012 on the Knighthawks' holdout list. If he plays, more moves will be needed to open up a spot, because the 'Hawks already have a glut of forwards under contract.

Mike Kirk, also taken in the dispersal draft, strengthens a defense that is anchored two-time reigning NLL Goalie of the Year Matt Vinc.

Insider's Take

"[Head coach] Mike Hasen has done a real good job in Rochester, but it'll be tough to get things rolling with so many new parts to deal with."

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