November 11, 2011

Rochester Signs Rookie Powless to Three-Year Deal

from press release

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Rochester Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres announced Friday that the team has signed three draft picks, including fifth-overall pick Johnny Powless. Powless agreed to a three-year deal, pending league approval, while Kyle Andrews and Aaron Tackaberry signed one-year deals.

"It was not that long ago that I was coaching Johnny in winter league," said Styres. "It was almost seven years ago to the day. He was a prolific scorer in junior and now he signed with the Knighthawks. It feels great that we are reaping the benefits of Six Nations hard work."

Powless adds his name to a long list of players that have played at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena before signing with the Knighthawks. The other Knighthawks that have developed under the ILA and Arrow Express Sports' umbrella include Cody Jamieson, Sid Smith, Craig Point, Joel White and Grant Catalino.

Powless was acquired on draft day after the Knighthawks moved up in the order to take the Six Nations star. The 18-year-old forward had an incredible two-year run in junior lacrosse, amassing 111 goals and 69 assists for 180 points in just 43 games. This summer, he won the Gaylord Powless Award as the Junior "A" Most Sportsmanlike Player. Powless led junior lacrosse in scoring with 65 goals and was fourth with 102 points. Last year, he won the Joe Nieuwendyk Award as the 2010 Junior "A" Rookie of the Year.

"I'm really glad to have my deal signed with the Knighthawks," said Powless. "Now I'm looking forward to training camp next weekend."

Andrews became the fourth draft picked to sign with the Knighthawks. The 23rd overall selection joins a team that finished two wins away from the NLL Finals last season. The Caledon, Ontario, native honed his skills in the Brampton Excelsiors' lacrosse system. This summer, Andrews played in all 22 regular season games with the Excels and netted a career-high six goals as part of a nine-goal effort. He also appeared in all three postseason games against the Peterborough Lakers. Brampton lost in the first round to the Lakers in three straight games.

"This is an awesome opportunity and I'm excited to be part of such a great team," said the 21-year-old defenseman.

Rochester also inked Tackaberry, who is a ball-hawking transition man from the Okotoks Junior "A" Raiders. In three seasons, he collected an astonishing 334 loose balls and recorded 68 goals and 66 assists in 57 games.

"I am real excited to get a chance to play with such a great and storied franchise. I can't wait to get out and play with all the talent that the team has to offer and hopefully I can help out an already great squad," said Tackaberry, who was the Knighthawks' fifth-round pick (36th overall).

In the 2011 Minto Cup, Tackaberry was one of the standouts for the Raiders. The Okotoks reached the semifinals before being eliminated 8-4 by the eventual champion, Whitby Warriors. He recorded 18 points (9+9) and 23 loose balls in nine playoff games. The 19 year old was also a two-point per game performer in three Minto Cup games.

"I am very impressed with him. I really like his defense/transition skills," said Styres. "He can take faceoffs and also play special teams."

The Knighthawks will open their 2012 Training Camp at Total Sports Experience in Gates on Saturday, November 19th with a 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. session.

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