Rochester Knighthawks General Manager and Vice President of Lacrosse Operations Dan Carey announced today that the team has re-signed goaltender Rylan Hartley and transition man Chris Willman to a one-year contract, pending league approval.
Acquired by Rochester in the third round of the 2019 NLL Expansion Draft, Hartley completed his second season with the Knighthawks in 2021-22, showing a 2-6 record and 312 saves with a .770 save percentage in 10 games.
In his rookie season with the Knighthawks in 2019-20, the 24-year-old netminder posted a 1-3 record and 171 saves with a 14.70 goals-against average and a .767 save percentage in five appearances. He made his professional debut on Jan. 19 against Philadelphia before earning his first win in a 47-save effort in Rochester’s 13-12 victory over the New York Riptide on Feb. 29.
In 15 career NLL games, all with Rochester, Harley has compiled a 3-9 record and 483 saves since the start of the 2019-20 campaign.
Originally a second-round selection (15th overall) of the San Diego Seals in 2018, Hartley also 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 2019, he backstopped the Northmen to a Minto Cup title after leading all netminders in wins (16) and saves (550) while ranking third with a 6.15 goals-against average.
In 2018, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound netminder 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.
Willman, 26, returns for his third season with the Knighthawks after totaling 11 assists, 76 loose-ball recoveries and a 38.2 face-off percentage in 23 career games for Rochester.
During the 2021-22 season, he appeared in a career-high 15 games and was one of the team’s primary face-off specialists, winning 109-of-297 face-off attempts.
A native of St. Thomas, Ontario, the 6-foot, 215-pound Willman appeared in 61 contests for Hobart and William Smith College (NCAA) from 2015 to 2018, recording four points (3+1) and leading the team to a NEC regular-season championship in 2017. As a senior with the Statesmen in 2018, Willman received the team’s C.R.A.G. Outstanding Defensive Player Award while serving as team captain.