Rochester Knighthawks General Manager and Vice President of Lacrosse Operations Dan Carey announced today that the team has signed forward John Vezina, defenseman Boedy Shields, transition man Kevin Owen Hill and goaltender Joel Watson all to two-year contracts. All transactions are pending league approval.
Selected with Rochester’s final pick of the 2020 Entry Draft, Vezina produced 28 points (11+17) over 16 Junior “A” games with the Brampton Excelsiors. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound forward also had 30 points, including 18 goals, in 17 playoff contests.
Shields spent the last two years playing Junior “A” ball with the Calgary Mountaineers in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL), recording 26 points (11+15) in 29 regular-season games as well as 23 points (10+13) in 27 postseason appearances.
During the 2019 season, he was named the RMLL’s recipient of the Happy Ripley Award as the Defensive Player of the Year and was selected to the Junior “A” First All-Star Team after producing 17 points on four goals and 13 assists in 15 games for Calgary.
A 6-foot, 180-pound native of Didsbury, Alberta, Shields also played two seasons at the Junior “B” level with the Rocky View Silvertips, during which he totaled 80 points (25+55) in 38 games, including a career-best 42-point campaign in 2017.
Shields currently attends Brock University in St. Catharines, where he has recorded five points (2+3) in 20 games as a member of the Badgers lacrosse team.
Hill, Rochester’s third-round pick (38th overall) in 2020, spent parts of the last five seasons splitting his time between the Six Nations Arrows and Rebels Junior “A” and “B” teams, respectively. During the 2019 season with the Arrows, the 5-foot-9, Oshweken, Ontario, native produced 22 points on nine goals and 13 assists in 19 games.
Hill posted his best season in 2017 as a member of the Rebels when he amassed a career-high 45 points (16+29) in 18 games while also adding a team-high 22 points (8+14) in 10 playoff contests.
In 73 career games with Six Nations, Hill has totaled 113 points (44+69) and 47 points (23+24) in 36 postseason appearances.
Originally a sixth-round pick (88th overall) of the Buffalo Bandits in the 2019 NLL Entry Draft, Watson posted a 16-16-1 record with an 8.70 goals-against average and a .711 save percentage in 38 games over four seasons (2016-2019) with the Whitby Warriors of the OAJLL.
During the 2018 season, the 6-foot-4, 308-pound netminder set career-highs in wins (7), goals-against average (.696) and save percentage (.790), with his goals-against average ranking second in the league among all goaltenders.
A 22-year-old native of Whitby, Ontario, Watson also played three seasons with the Toronto Monarchs of the Arena Lacrosse League, where he held a 5-8 record with a 10.99 goals-against average in 13 appearances.