The Rochester Knighthawks will make three selections in this afternoon’s NLL Entry Draft, beginning in the second round with the 30th overall pick. The Knighthawks also have a pair of third-round picks at 47th and 52nd overall, respectively.
It marks the second time in three years that Rochester only has three selections following the 2021 NLL Entry Draft, which included R.I.T. product Pent Eistrat, who the Knighthawks recently re-signed to a two-year deal.
It’s also just the second time since 2019 that the Knighthawks do not have a first-round pick.
Despite that, however, the Knighthawks will utilize their three picks with one goal in mind: continuing to build for the future.
Rochester made a splash at last year’s Entry Draft by selecting highly touted forward Thomas McConvey with the first overall pick. McConvey, who was recently named the recipient of the Lt. Donald MacLaughlin Jr. Award as the nation’s top midfielder as a fifth-year graduate student at the University of Virginia, signed a two-year contract with the Knighthawks back in July and is primed to make his professional indoor debut later this winter.
Additional previous first-round picks include forward Austin Hasen (2022, 18th overall), who made his debut with the Knighthawks last season, 2021-22 NLL All-Rookie Team selection Ryan Smith (2020, 3rd overall) and three-time Knighthawks Defensive Player of the Ryland Rees (2019, 2nd overall).
Projected to go first overall is forward Dyson Williams, who’s certainly no stranger to the sport of lacrosse. The son of NLL Hall of Famer and Las Vegas Desert Dogs head coach Shawn Williams, a former Knighthawk in the previous organization, is a 2023 All-ACC selection, a two-time USILA All-America honorable mention and a four-time ACC Academic Honor Roll honoree. Williams is slated to return to Duke University for a fifth year this fall.
Williams has been a star at Duke since 2020 and finished the recent World Lacrosse Championships fourth in scoring on a stacked Team Canada. Though he didn’t play box lacrosse this summer, he showed “in his rookie MSL season with Brooklin of 2022 that he was ready not just to play, but to excel, against men. Williams led the league in both goals (26) and points (45) in the 12-game regular season.” (via Stephen Stamp).
As many as six UCBLL players are eligible in this year’s Draft, including:
- Luke Pilcher (2021-22) – Played for the Armory… also played at RIT… Played for Sr A Brooklin in 2023
- Kaleb Benedict (2021) – Played for the Armory… had a great summer with Jr. A Orangeville
- Kellen Pulera (2022-23) – Played for the Rapids/Member of the Hawkeyes at NCBS (2023)… Played at Marist
- Jake Piseno (2023)… Played for the Hawkeyes… Played at the University at Albany
- Jason Chiodo (2022-23)… Played for the Buffaloes… Played at Cortland
- Vinny Fiorella (2021-23)… )… Played for the Rapids for 2 years/Buffaloes at 2023 NCBS… Played for Buffaloes in 2021… Played at John Carroll University
The Knighthawks are coming off their best since debuting as an expansion franchise ahead of the COVID-shortened 2019-20 campaign. Rochester finished last season with a 10-6 record, the first 10-win season under head coach Mike Hasen, and cliched its first-ever playoff berth.
For a complete list of this year’s top draft eligible players as well as the selection order, visit www.nll.com/draftcentral.