November 23, 2013

Knighthawks Sign Free Agent Tom Johnson

from Press Release

(November 23, 2013)... The Rochester Knighthawks signed free agent Tom Johnson to a one-year deal. The forward joined the back-to-back National Lacrosse League Champions for Training Camp this weekend.

"It's very exciting," said Johnson. "You can't ask for a better situation than signing with the team that's won the championship the last two years."

The 28-year-old enters his seventh season in the NLL in 2014. He spent the last two seasons with the Edmonton Rush. Johnson has also made stops in San Jose and Washington. In his pro career, he has played in 56 games and recorded 61 goals, 49 assists and 164 loose balls. He was selected in the first round (seventh overall) in the 2007 NLL Entry Draft out of Bellarmine University.

Johnson broke into the NLL in 2008 with the San Jose Stealth, scoring eight goals and adding seven assists for 15 points. His finest season offensively was in 2009, when he scored 20 goals and added 13 assists, playing alongside Colin Doyle.

"I am a big body that can set picks, get guys open and play that grinder role in the offense," said Johnson about his style of play. "I have no problem playing defense if that's what they want me to do. I just want to be a role player."

Johnson brings with him a knack for playing in the Champion's Cup Finals, appearing in three straight title games from 2010-12. In 2010, he won his only NLL crown with the Washington Stealth. He made a return trip to the Finals in 2011 with the Stealth but was edged by Toronto by one goal. In 2012, he was a member of the visiting Edmonton Rush, as the Knighthawks rallied to win the 2012 Champion's Cup 9-6. Now he joins a team that has advanced to the past two and enters 2014 as back-to-back NLL Champions.

"Tommy is a big body and more of an off-ball guy," said Knighthawks Assistant Coach Andy Secore. "He's been around the league for quite some time and he's paid his dues. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do."

"He grew up playing a West Coast style. It's more of an in-tight game instead of a perimeter game. He is a guy that is going to be pushing us for a spot," added back-to-back NLL Championship Game MVP Cody Jamieson.

Internationally, Johnson played for Team England in the 2011 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. He aided Britain's fifth-place finish and finished tied for the tournament lead in scoring with American Casey Powell. Johnson notched 31 points in five games, collecting 15 goals and 16 assists.

"The tournament was fantastic," said Johnson. "The English guys were awesome people. It was just a fantastic experience and definitely one of the highlights of my career."

Johnson hails from Vancouver, BC and plays in the Western Lacrosse Association with the New Westminster Salmonbellies. This summer, he finished fourth on the 'Bellies with 42 points (16+26) in 17 games. In his Senior "A" career, he was also awarded the Ed Bayley Trophy as the 2007 WLA Rookie of the Year after collecting 27 goals and 27 assists. Johnson had a dominant junior career where he was the all-time leading scorer for the Junior "A" Delta Islanders.

Johnson is taking part in the Knighthawks Training Camp, which officially kicked off the 2014 season today at the new state-of-the-art Unity Health System Total Sports Experience in East Rochester. Johnson hit the floor for the first Training Camp session at 5:00 p.m. today.

"He is a good pick and roll guy with good lacrosse sense who has had success in the summer and in the NLL," said Knighthawks Assistant Coach Paul Day. "We can always use scoring."

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