Rochester Knighthawks General Manager and Vice President of Lacrosse Operations Dan Carey announced today the team’s Protected Players List ahead of the upcoming 2021 National Lacrosse League Expansion Draft.
The Knighthawks have placed 11 players on their Protected Players List, including five forwards, five defensemen/transition players and one goaltender.
Among the players included is forward Holden Cattoni, who was named Rochester’s Offensive Player of the Year for the team’s inaugural season after finishing sixth in the league in scoring while pacing the Knighthawks in goals (24), assists (38) and points (62). The fourth-year pro also ranked ninth among NLL leaders in goals and assists and tied for fifth with a team-high 12 power-play assists, eight of which came over his last seven games of the season.
A native of Calgary, Alberta, Cattoni averaged nearly five points per game through 12 games during the 2019-20 season, and was one of only two Knighthawks to record at least one point in every contest he appeared in. He reached the 50-point mark for the third straight year, and up until the NLL’s stoppage of play on March 12, was on pace to shatter his career-high 80-point campaign which he set during the 2018-19 campaign as a member of the Georgia Swarm.
Highlighting Rochester’s defensive players is Ryland Rees, who the Knighthawks selected second overall in the 2019 NLL Entry Draft. Rees took his first season in the NLL by storm, recording 11 points on four goals and seven assists while being one of just four Knighthawks rookies to appear in all 12 games during Rochester’s inaugural campaign. The Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, native finished the year tied for 10th in scoring among all NLL rookies and second behind only teammate Cory Highfield for the most points among all first-year transition players, earning All-Rookie Team honors for the 2019-20 season.
Named Rochester’s Defensive Player of the Year for the team’s inaugural season, Rees also added a team-high 75 loose ball recoveries, trailing only New England’s Joe Nardella (86) and New York’s Alex Woodall (84) for the most among NLL rookies in that category.
The 2021 NLL Expansion Draft featuring the Panther City Lacrosse Club is scheduled for Tuesday, June 29. As the newest members of the NLL, Panther City will have the opportunity to select one player from each team that was not included on the Protected Players List.