Rochester Knighthawks General Manager and Vice President of Lacrosse Operations Dan Carey announced today the team’s Protected Players List ahead of the upcoming 2022 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.
Rochester’s Protected Players List includes the following players:
Among the players protected by Rochester includes forward Ryan Smith, who was named Rochester’s Offensive Player of the Year after producing 59 points (35+24) in 17 games during his rookie season in 2021-22. The third overall pick in the 2020 NLL Entry Draft, Smith finished second among NLL rookies in goals (35) and third in points (59) while also leading all first-year players with a franchise record eight power-play goals. Smith, the most decorated player ever to come out of Robert Morris University, recorded multi-goal efforts in 10 of his last 12 games, including six hat tricks over that span.
Tabbed as Rochester’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year, Rees anchored the Knighthawks defense and transition game all season, providing leadership and stablilty while also contributing offensively when needed. Named an alternate captain midseason, Rees established career-highs in goals (11) and points (15) while being one of only five Rochester players to appear in all 18 games this past season. He finished 14th in scoring among all transition players and eighth with a team-high 118 loose ball recoveries.
The 2022 NLL Expansion Draft featuring the Las Vegas Desert Dogs is scheduled for Thursday, July 7. As the newest members of the NLL, the Desert Dogs will have the opportunity to select one player from each team that was not included on the Protected Players List.