September 23, 2013 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Rochester Knighthawks
Monday, September 16th was like any other school day for Taylor Northway. That is until approximately 8:40 p.m., when the Rochester Knighthawks selected him with the 37th overall pick in the 2013 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft.
It was only 5:40 p.m. for the Delta, BC native due to the three-hour time zone difference between the East and West Coasts. Northway is a student at Douglas College, a community college in British Columbia with campuses located in Coquitlam and New Westminster, and an approximately 30-minute commute separating the two. When his afternoon class ended at 4:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET) in Coquitlam, he hurried to New Westminster to watch the draft.
"I had a class from 2:30 to 4:30, and that was in Coquitlam. I rushed back to my grandpa's house in New West (to watch the draft)," he said. "The funny part is, as soon as that happened, I had to sprint to my next class at the New West campus. I was in class getting all of these texts and phone calls, and I couldn't even respond to all of them because I had a three-hour class from 6 to 9. It was hectic."
Due to a slow internet connection, Northway was not the first person to hear his name called on the online feed.
"I was watching the draft on my computer, but on my computer the draft was a little delayed," he said. "I was at the 34th pick on my computer when it was actually happening, the 37th pick. My dad called me and said, 'Rochester!' I couldn't believe it."
Northway is a self-described "aggressive" and "hardworking" defender, two attributes Rochester Head Coach Mike Hasen likes to see in his players. The 6-0, 200-pound righty will help fill a need in defense, transition, and gathering loose balls.
"The best part about my game is my speed," he said. "For my junior team, I'm the guy that, if they're putting on a full man-on-man press, I will literally grab the ball from the crease and run the ball up the floor. I have to use my speed to my advantage."
In 2013 with his hometown Junior "A" Delta Islanders, Northway scored 13 points (3+10) in 21 regular season games. He also played a total of seven games with the Senior "A" Coquitlam Adanacs during their playoff run. It is with the Adanacs where Northway was noticed by Coquitlam General Manager Kevin Hill, who is one of Rochester's western scouts.
"The only team that had spoken to me prior to the draft was the Stealth," Northway said. "After my junior season ended, I got to play up with the Coquitlam Adanacs. That is where I met Kevin Hill. I built a relationship with all of the coaches from Coquitlam and I built a relationship with Kevin."
Originally, Northway was not expecting to hear his name called at the draft. Because he wasn't going to play lacrosse at a NCAA college or university, he figured he had nothing to lose by throwing his name into the pool of eligible players.
"Kevin did text me three or four before days before the draft and basically said, 'Oh, you're in the draft?' He asked what I was doing, and I just said I was going to school and working. I really didn't think anything of it," Northway said.
In last year's draft, the Knighthawks selected Northway's friend and former Delta teammate, Cody Hawkins. One of the many text messages he received after the draft was from Hawkins, who sent him some words of advice and encouragement. The message read, "Just keep in shape. Keep that stick dialed and play with confidence. It's easy to get caught up in the hype like I did, but I'm telling you, walk in with swagger, keep your mouth shut, and only speak when you have questions. Every pass, every step, every breathe counts on the floor and off. Make them all count."
Although his mother is concerned about her 18-year-old son flying from British Columbia to Rochester by himself, Northway cannot wait for his first opportunity to meet his new coaches and teammates.
"From now until open camp, I know I am going to be thinking about it all of the time," he said. "I know I have to focus on school as well; all I want to do now is get in the gym and start working harder because I actually got drafted.
"I've never been on the East Coast, so I don't have any idea what's going to happen, or what it looks like even. It's all going to be brand new, but I honestly can't wait. I'm so excited for the opportunity."