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Knighthawks Go Defense Early at NLL Draft

September 26, 2018 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Rochester Knighthawks News Release

The Rochester Knighthawks fortified their defense at Tuesday night's 2018 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft, using their first three picks to take defensemen.

Rochester started the night by taking James Barclay with the ninth overall selection (first round) and Luke Van Schepen 16th overall (second round). Barclay arrives in Rochester after playing four seasons of collegiate lacrosse at Providence College. For the past two summers, the tenacious defender played with the Oakville Rock of Major Series Lacrosse (MSL). The 21-year-old logged time in 32 games and chipped in 13 points (3+10). In 2018, the 23-year-old was a member of the Rock team that advanced to its first MSL Finals.

Van Schepen joins the Teal and Purple after completing his first season of Senior "A" ball with the Brampton Excelsiors. The Brampton, Ontario, native spent the previous five seasons with the Junior "A" Excelsiors, where he posted 32 points (9+23) in 89 games. In 2018, the lefty defenseman completed his college career at Division I Siena College. With the Saints, the 22-year-old collected six goals, 77 ground balls in 52 games. He finished his career with 37 caused turnovers, which tied him for fifth all-time in school history.

The Knighthawks continued the trend in the third round by taking defenseman/transition man Oran Horn. In 2018, he played with Six Nations (Major Series Lacrosse) after making a smooth transition to the Chiefs from the Senior "B" Kahnawake Mohawks. Described as "tough as nails," Horn advanced through the Junior "B" ranks with the hometown Kahnawake Hunters before landing with Junior "A" Six Nations. He played two seasons with the Arrows and was a member of two Minto Cup championship teams (2015-16). Horn completed his college career in 2018 with Mercyhurst University. He also excelled internationally, winning a bronze medal with the Iroquois Nationals at 2018 World Field Lacrosse Championships.

The Knighthawks then acquired the 40th overall pick from Philadelphia for their fourth-round pick in the 2019 NLL Entry Draft. Rochester used the extra pick to select Nick Damude (day-mewd). The netminder has played his entire Junior "A" career with the St. Catharines Athletics. This past season, the 19-year-old posted an 11-6 record and a 7.12 goals-against average. His .816 save percentage was second best in the Ontario junior loop, while his 533 saves were tied for third. He also logged 1,011 minutes in 17 games for the Athletics. During the playoffs, he led St. Catharines to a berth in the Ontario Semifinals as he maintained the best goals-against average (5.65) and save percentage (.865) in the league.

Rochester turned to offense with its next three selections, taking Dawson Theede in the fourth round (49th overall) and Dylan Riley in the fifth round (62nd overall). With their sixth-round pick, the K-Hawks welcomed Leland Powless to the organization.

The Knighthawks selected the 21-year-old Theede from the Brooklin Redmen (MSL) and the Whitby Warriors (OLA Junior "A"). Theede, who is currently playing Canadian University Hockey with St. Mary's University, was a dominant lacrosse player during his junior career. With Whitby, the lefty forward appeared in 47 games and scored 47 goals and dished out 99 assists for 146 points over four seasons.

The Knighthawks stuck with offense as they took Dylan Riley in the fifth round. This season, Riley played at Davenport University and was named an MCLA Division I Honorable Mention All-American. During the 2018 summer season, the 21-year-old notched six points (3+3) in nine games with the Western Lacrosse Association's Langley Thunder. The Windsor, Ontario, native played five seasons with the hometown Windsor Clippers. During his Junior "B" career, the hulking 6-foot-5, 250-pound forward amassed 94 goals and 74 assists in 68 regular season games.

Rochester used its final selection to pick Leland Powless. The Onondaga product is coming off an impressive first season with Junior "A" Six Nations. In 17 regular season games, the forward posted 17 goals and 28 assists for 45 points. During the postseason, the 21-year-old chipped in two assists in three games. Before his stint with the Arrows, he played for the Can-Am Onondaga Redhawks in 2017. During the 2015 campaign, he competed in the Founders' Cup with the Junior "B" Seneca Warchiefs. That same season, Powless played in the Senior "B" President's Cup and finished sixth on the Snake Island Muskies in points.

Rochester opens its historic 25th season on Saturday, Dec. 8 against the New England Black Wolves at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena. Fans can purchase season tickets online at or by calling the Knighthawks Office at (585) 454-4295.


Round Pick Name Position School/Team

1st Round: 9 James Barclay Defense Providence/Oakville (MSL)

2nd Round: 16 Luke Van Schepen Defense Siena/Brampton (MSL)

3rd Round: 36 Oran Horn D/T Mercyhurst/Six Nations (MSL)

4th Round: 40 Nick Damude Goalie St. Catharines (OLA Jr. A)/Mohawk College

4th Round: 49 Dawson Theede Forward St. Mary's/Brooklin (MSL) & Whitby (OLA Jr A)

5th Round: 62 Dylan Riley Forward Davenport University/Langley (WLA)

6th Round: 73 Leland Powless Forward Six Nations (OLA Jr A)

Images from this story

James Barclay drafted by the Rochester Knighthawks
James Barclay drafted by the Rochester Knighthawks


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