August 5, 2017 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Rochester Knighthawks
The Rochester Knighthawks announced today that they have signed Mike Triolo to a one-year deal. The forward returns to Rochester, where he attended training camp last season.
"I am glad to be back," he said. "Everything is falling into place for me pretty well and giving me a shot at the Knighthawks again."
Triolo will enter Knighthawks camp after recording the best year of his lacrosse career. In the Arena Lacrosse League (ALL), he was named a 2017 First Team All-Star after finishing second in the league with 70 points (30+40). In the ALL Championship Game, the Oshawa Outlaws' team captain netted his biggest goal of the season at the most opportune time. Triolo scored 15 seconds into overtime to give Oshawa an 11-10 victory over the St. Catharines ShockWave. For his season-long success, Triolo was named the league's Most Valuable Player.
"I knew I was having a good year and being part of a championship team helped me get there," he said. "There's definitely a few guys in that league who deserved it as much as I did. It was surprising, but I am glad I was recognized. There are so many guys in that league who should be playing pro, hopefully I am one of them."
Triolo followed up his stint in the ALL with an impressive showing out west this summer, finishing third on the Victoria Shamrocks in points with 45. He also placed in the Top 20 in the Western Lacrosse Association in assists (29) and points. Triolo admitted that moving from defense/transition to offense has really allowed his game to flourish.
"This has been the first year where someone has given me the chance to just play the one side, between the ALL and the Shamrocks," he said. "I have really come into my own as a player. I have gotten to play with some amazing players and it really has helped me to show my talents. Everyone on the Shamrocks' team is a pro player. Being able to play them, and play and practice with Joey Resetarits, will hopefully help me to play some offense in Rochester as well."
After playing alongside Triolo, Resetarits said that "Tree" deserves a chance to make an NLL roster.
"Mike has been a huge threat this summer," he said. "Whether setting picks, scoring or doing the dirty work, he has been great. He has great hands and scoring ability, but his size gives him an advantage over everyone."
The 6-foot-8 forward was originally a third-round pick (27th overall) of the Buffalo Bandits in the 2015 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft. Before being drafted by Buffalo, he was a standout at Division II Pfeiffer University, where he was a three-time All-Conference selection. During his career, he posted 44 goals, 38 assists, and 82 points, and caused 81 turnovers. He still ranks first in Pfeiffer history in career ground balls and caused turnovers. He also has the second highest ground ball total in a season with 105 on 2013.
Signing with the Knighthawks marks the third time that the Toronto native has been invited to an NLL training camp. In 2016, he signed with the Knighthawks after an impressive showing in the team's rookie camp. He also played in all three of Rochester's preseason games. After coming up just short of making his first NLL roster, Triolo is even more motivated to reach his goal of playing at the highest level.
"It's unfinished business for me," said Triolo. "I thought I was really close last year. It was the closest I have ever been. I am coming into camp with something to prove - that I should have been there or that I should be there now. That's the mindset I have going in."
It was Triolo's recent string of success that prompted the Knighthawks to take another look at the lanky forward.
"Mike came into camp last year and was very close to making our team," said Knighthawks scout Stuart Brown. "We think very highly of Mike. He's a great young man with a lot of upside. He took our feedback at training camp and went out and had a great winter in the Arena Lacrosse League and then followed that up with a great summer with the Victoria Shamrocks.
"He certainly got our attention. We are excited to have him coming back to training camp and giving him the opportunity to compete for a spot."