Knighthawks Select Shawn Evans First Overall in 2019 NLL Expansion Draft
(Rochester, NY) - The Rochester Knighthawks selected forward Shawn Evans with the first overall pick in the 2019 NLL Expansion Draft. The former NLL champion and two-time league MVP was among a dozen players acquired by the Knighthawks in advance of the franchise's inaugural National Lacrosse League season.
Evans recently completed his 14th season in the NLL, recording 94 points (28+66), 204 shots and 69 loose balls in 17 g ames for the East Division champion Buffalo Bandits. The 33-year-old ranked second among all Bandits players and seventh in the league in scoring while leading Buffalo to an NLL-best 14-4 record during the regular season and an appearance in the NLL Cup Finals.
"Shawn is a two-time League MVP and has been consistently one of the top producers in the NLL for several years," said Knighthawks General Manager and Vice President of Lacrosse Operations Dan Carey. "His vision and competitive nature are what sets him apart from his colleagues, and I'm thrilled to build around a player of Shawn's caliber."
Evans was named MVP for the 2013 season after leading the NLL in scoring with 112 points (32+80), his first of five straight 100-point seasons. He would again finish atop the NLL scoring race with a career-high 130 points (47+83) in 2015, earning MVP honors for the second time in three years while also establishing a league record for assists in a season with 83. The following year, Evans scored a career-best 50 goals en route to picking up his fourth straight All-Pro First Team selection.
The 5-foot-8, 175-pound forward played the first six years of his pro career with the former Knighthawks franchise, during which he totaled 363 points (143+220) in 93 games while leading Rochester to an NLL championship in 2007.
"I'm very excited to be back with the Rochester Knighthawks franchise," said Evans. "This is the team that drafted me in 2005 and where I started my playing career as a Knighthawk. I won my first NLL championship here and I'd like to win another. I can't wait to suit up with the team that took a chance on me in 2006 and is once again taking a chance on me now. I can't wait to play in front of the great Knighthawks fans again."
A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Evans has amassed 1,187 points on 430 goals and 757 assists in 229 career games with Buffalo, New England, Calgary and Rochester. He's also compiled 538 penalty minutes and scooped up 1,289 loose balls over his 14-year NLL career.
In addition to earning four straight All-Pro First Team selections (2013-16), Evans was named to the NLL All-Rookie Team in 2006 and was named the 2011 All-Star Game MVP. He currently ranks among the all-time leaders in NLL history in assists, points and penalty minutes. Evans has also totaled 123 points (53+70) in 29 career postseason contests.
Rochester used it's second-round pick to select forward Holden Cattoni of the Georgia Swarm. The DeWinton, Alberta, native enters his fourth season in the NLL in 2019-20 after setting career-highs in assists (53) and points (80) while appearing in all 18 games for Georgia this past season. He ranked third on the team in assists and points while his 27 goals were fourth-most among all Swarm players. In 51 career NLL games with Georgia and Calgary, Cattoni has registered 182 points on 70 goals and 112 assists.
Calgary's fifth overall pick in the 2016 NLL Entry Draft, Cattoni played collegiate lacrosse at Johns Hopkins University, where he was a Big Ten All-Tournament Team selection (2015) and an Honorable Mention USILA All-American (2014).
The Knighthawks selected goaltender Rylan Hartley in the third round. Hartley, who was a member of the NLL's San Diego Seals last season but didn't see any game action, spent the previous five summers with the Junior "A" Orangeville Northmen. In 43 games with the team, the Orangeville, Ontario, native has posted a 22-15-2 record to go along with a 7.09 goals-against average and a .795 save percentage.
In 2018, Hartley led the league in wins (12), goals-against average (6.63), saves (585) and save percentage (.817) en route to earning the Dennis McIntosh Award as the League's MVP. Hartley was originally drafted by the San Diego Seals in the second round (15th overall) of the 2018 NLL Entry Draft.
Rochester acquired its first defenseman in the draft to begin the fourth round by selecting Shane Simpson of the NLL champion Calgary Roughnecks. In 10 contests with Roughnecks last season, the 6-foot-2, 170-pound rearguard posted 10 points (3+7) and 38 loose balls in his rookie season. His 38 loose balls finished second among all Calgary rookies while ranking 14th in the NLL among all first-year defensemen. Simpson was originally drafted by the Roughnecks in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2018 NLL Entry Draft.
Prior to turning pro, the Hamilton, Ontario, native played his collegiate lacrosse at the University of North Carolina. In 2016, he led the Tarheels to an NCAA National Championship, finishing the season as the team's sixth-leading scorer with 22 points (8+14). He was also a three-time ACC Academic Honor Roll selection and was twice named to the All-ACC Academic Men's Lacrosse Team. As a freshman, he led UNC in goals, assists and points and was named to the NCAA All-Freshman Team. Internationally, he won a silver medal as a member of Team Canada at the 2012 U19 FIL World Championships.
In the fifth round, the Knighthawks chose forward Curtis Knight. The 26-year-old joins the Knighthawks after spending the first six seasons of his NLL career with the Saskatchewan Rush from 2013-19, recording 307 points (122+185) and 350 loose balls in 99 games. The Oshawa, Ontario, native helped the Rush to six consecutive first-place finishes in the regular season while also leading the team to a pair of NLL titles over a three-year span.
In his second season with the Rush in 2014, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward was named team MVP after registering a career-high 72 points, including 35 goals, which ranked 10th in the NLL. Knight was originally drafted by the Edmonton Rush in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2012 NLL Entry Draft.
The sixth round began with Rochester acquiring forward Dan Lintner from the Toronto Rock. A 26-year-old native of Courtice, Ontario, Lintner posted career highs in all offensive categories last season, including goals (20), assists (17) and points (37) while appearing in all 18 games for the Rock. In addition, he recorded 60 loose balls and finished the season with 114 shots. Originally the eighth overall pick of the New England Black Wolves in 2015, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound forward has appeared in 53 career games, all with Toronto, scoring 62 goals and 45 assists for 107 points.
Prior to turning pro, Lintner played four years at nearby Cornell University. During his time with Big Red, he was a two-time Honorable Mention All-Ivy League selection (2014-15) and was named to the Second Team All-Ivy League in 2014.
The Knighthawks then made back-to-back selections from the Philadelphia Wings, beginning with Frank Brown in the seventh round. Brown, who was acquired by the Wings in last year's NLL Expansion Draft, notched 12 points (6+6) in 14 games for Philadelphia this past season. In his pro career, the Salamanca, New York, native has produced 19 points (7+12) over 24 NLL games, including three with the original Knighthawks franchise during the 2018-19 campaign. He also had one assist in five appearances for Rochester during the 2018 postseason.
Matt Bennett, Brown's teammate last season in Philadelphia, was selected in the eighth round. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound defenseman completed his sixth season in the NLL with career-highs in goals (3) and points (7) in 11 combined games for the Wings and Buffalo Bandits.
The Knighthawks took their second goaltender of the day in the ninth round in Steve Fryer of the Colorado Mammoth. Entering his sixth season in the NLL, Fryer spent the past two seasons with the Mammoth, posting an overall 2-2 record with a 7.71 goals-against average and a .853 save percentage. Originally a fourth-round (28th overall) of the Philadelphia Wings in 2011, Fryer dressed for nine games during his rookie season, making 14 saves.
In the 10th round, Rochester selected and traded forward Chris Wardle back to the Colorado Mammoth in exchange for Mike Mallory and defenseman Julian Garritano. The Knighthawks subsequently dealt Mallory to the Vancouver Warriors in exchange for Travis Burton and a second-round pick in the 2020 NLL Entry Draft. Garritano scored one goal in eight games for Colorado last season, while Burton, Vancouver's 21st overall pick in the 2018 NLL Entry Draft, was not active for the 2018-19 season.
Rochester selected transition player Brandon Goodwin of the Vancouver Warriors in the final round to close out the day. Goodwin has been a point-per-game player since joining the NLL in 2015 and has amassed 47 points (15+32) and 110 loose balls over 47 career games with Vancouver, Calgary and Buffalo. His best season came back in 2018 when set career-highs in goals (8), assists (18) and points (26) while appearing in all 18 games for the Warriors. The New Westminster, British Columbia, native was Buffalo's first-round selection (ninth overall) in the 2014 NLL Entry Draft.
New Season Ticket Memberships for the 2019-20 season start as low as just $16 per seat, with Loyalty Member pricing beginning at just $15 depending on seat location. Fans can take advantage of this special offer and lock in their seats with a $50 deposit per seat by July 15. For more information, visit www.rochesterknighthawks.com/season-tickets or call 585-454-5335 and speak with a Knighthawks sales representative.
2019 NLL Expansion Draft Class - Rochester Knighthawks
Round Pick Player Position Previous Club
1 1 Shawn Evans Forward Buffalo Bandits
2 3 Holden Cattoni Forward Georgia Swarm
3 5 Rylan Hartley Goaltender San Diego Seals
4 7 Shane Simpson Defenseman Calgary Roughnecks
5 9 Curtis Knight Forward Saskatchewan Rush
6 11 Dan Lintner Forward Toronto Rock
7 13 Frank Brown Transition Philadelphia Wings
8 15 Matt Bennett Defenseman Philadelphia Wings
9 17 Steve Fryer Goaltender Colorado Mammoth
10 19 Chris Wardle Forward Colorado Mammoth
11 21 Brandon Goodwin Transition Vancouver Warriors
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National Lacrosse League Stories from July 9, 2019
- Steve Fryer and Chris Wardle Selected in NLL Expansion Draft, Wardle Traded to Colorado for Julian Garritano and Mike Mallory - Colorado Mammoth
- Warriors Acquire Mike Mallory from Rochester - Vancouver Warriors
- Lintner and McArdle Claimed in Expansion Draft - Toronto Rock
- Knighthawks Select Shawn Evans First Overall in 2019 NLL Expansion Draft - Rochester Knighthawks
- 2019 NLL Expansion Draft Results & Trades Announced - NLL
- Holden Cattoni and John Ranagan Selected in the 2019 NLL Expansion Draft - Georgia Swarm
- Rush Lose Knight & Cornwall in NLL Expansion Draft - Saskatchewan Rush
- Seals Lose Hartley, Kelly in NLL Expansion Draft - San Diego Seals
- Two Roughnecks Claimed in 2019 NLL Expansion Draft - Calgary Roughnecks
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