For some, preseason was an opportunity to prove how they could impact the Rochester Knighthawks roster going into the 2022-23 National Lacrosse League season. For others, it was the chance to embrace a new organization as they head into another year in the league. The latter is Knighthawks newcomer, and highly anticipated free agency pick-up, Connor Fields.
Fields was acquired by Rochester along with goaltender Riley Hutchcraft and the first overall pick in the 2022 NLL Entry Draft from the Las Vegas Desert Dogs during the 2022 Expansion Draft. This acquisition didn’t disappoint Knighthawks fans this past summer.
“Initially, you know, I’m just really excited,” said Fields when asked what his thoughts were on the move that Knighthawks general manager Dan Carey had made to acquire the young forward this past July. “I can’t say enough great things about Buffalo, and I loved playing in Buffalo, but for an opportunity to play for the Knighthawks, there’s a lot of excitement.
In 2021-22, Fields completed his third NLL season finishing the year with 32 goals and 35 assists in 18 games for the Buffalo Bandits. Fields’ 67 points landed him third on the Bandits roster in scoring, while he also added 16 points on seven goals and nine assists in six playoff contests while leading the Bandits to their second NLL Finals appearance in three years.
After the Knighthawks three preseason matchups, we continued to see Fields produce offensively from the season prior. Appearing in just two of Rochester’s preseason tune-ups, Fields was tied for a team-high eight points on two goals and six assists.
— NLL (@NLL) November 11, 2022
“I just want to come in and just help the team win any way I can,” started Fields when asked how he already sees himself fitting into the Knighthawks offensive structure. “I think, on the ball and using my feet to get myself, or others, open…just trying to be a threat with or without the ball.”
In 32 career NLL games with Buffalo and the San Diego Seals, Fields has totaled 116 points on 52 goals and 64 assists while racking up 178 loose ball recoveries after being selected in the first round (10th overall) by the Seals in the 2018 NLL Entry Draft.
Prior to turning pro, Fields played his collegiate lacrosse at the University at Albany, where he was a four-time All-American and named a Tewaaraton Award nominee in each of his final three seasons after amassing an astonishing 364 points on 199 goals and 165 assists in 69 career games for the Great Danes, becoming one of the top scorers in Division I.
Fields’ 199 goals are most all-time at Albany while his 165 assists and 364 points are second in program history. He’s also second and fourth all-time in Division I history in points and goals, respectively.
Just a preview of what is to come this season with Connor Fields 👀 pic.twitter.com/SgDJVmKSaz
— Rochester Knighthawks (@RocKnighthawks) October 29, 2022
“I just try to go out there and take it one play at a time, every game. For myself, I have the highest expectations out of anyone. So, I just go by that kind of mentality and just go play by play every game,” explained Fields when asked if there was any added pressure from the social media attention he received from the Knighthawks fanbase after his signing.
However excited the fans in Rochester are, Fields is equally as excited to get the Knighthawks 2022-23 campaign kicked off this upcoming Saturday.
Fields then finished with, “I can’t explain how excited I was, but now that the season is here and I’m getting going with the guys, it’s just another level. I think we have a lot of talent on this team, and we have some youth as well as some veterans who know how to win.”
Fields and the Knighthawks officially embark on their third NLL season this Saturday, Dec. 3 on the road against the Georgia Swarm as part of the league’s Face-Off Weekend before returning home to host the Toronto Rock on Opening Knight on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Segar & Sciortino Field.
All 18 Knighthawks game this season will once again be available on Big 107.3 and ESPN+.