Rochester Knighthawks Vice President of Lacrosse Operations and General Manager Dan Carey announced today that team has signed forward Kyle Waters and defensemen Ben MacDonnell and Jake Doolittle all to multi-year deals, pending league approval.
Acquired by Rochester along with the 16th and 35th overalls picks in the 2023 NLL Entry Draft from Calgary in exchange for Thomas Hoggarth and Thomas Vela, Waters completed his second pro season with the Roughnecks in 2022-23, recording 25 points on eight goals and 17 assists while appearing in all but two games. He also added 14 loose ball recoveries and 48 shots on goal. In 28 career NLL games, all with Calgary, the 6-foot-4, 236-pound forward has totaled 42 points (15+27) and 37 loose balls.
Prior to turning pro, the Orangeville, Ontario, native played two years of collegiate lacrosse at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he notched 16 points (5+11) in five games for the Titans. Waters led the team with five goals and finished second in assists and points before the remainder of the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his collegiate debut, he scored five goals, including the game-winner, and added six assists in the 15-14 win over Jacksonville. The five goals were the most scored by a Titan in his collegiate debut, earning him MAAC Rookie and Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Waters was also a two-time MAAC Honor Roll selection and named to the 2020 MAAC All-Academic Team.
Waters is also a two-time Founders Cup champion, having guided his hometown Orangeville Northmen to Junior ‘B’ titles in 2016 and again in 2018. In 80 career games with Orangeville over the course of seven seasons, he totaled 221 points (111+110) while also adding 155 points (77+78) in 56 postseason appearances.
ICYMI: we acquired Kyle Waters in our Draft Day trade, and we’re so excited to have him! pic.twitter.com/OTJKS74lfA
— Rochester Knighthawks (@RocKnighthawks) September 19, 2023
He concluded his junior career by winning a Minto Cup in 2019 after scoring 42 goals for the second straight year and amassing 97 points in 20 games for Orangeville.
Originally Calgary’s first-round selection (6th overall) in the 2021 NLL Entry Draft, Waters remains the only Detroit Mercy player ever to be drafted in the first round by any professional lacrosse league.
The Knighthawks selected MacDonnell, a defenseman out of Robert Morris University, with the 16th overall pick.
A native of Oshawa, Ontario, MacDonnell appeared in only one game with the Colonials during his sophomore season after not playing as a freshman.
With the 16th-overall pick…
Welcome to Rochester, Ben MacDonnell! pic.twitter.com/F9EbG8PKaj
— Rochester Knighthawks (@RocKnighthawks) September 16, 2023
MacDonnell led the Whitby Warriors to a Minto Cup championship last summer in addition to putting up seven goals and 18 points while appearing in all 14 games for the Oshawa Outlaws of the Arena Lacrosse League. He earned All-Rookie First Team defender honors before emerging as one of the top rookies in Major Series Lacrosse with the Brooklin Lacrosse Club.
MacDonnell was an accomplished two-sport athlete in both hockey and lacrosse at Maxwell Heights high school. As a senior in 2019, he captured a pair of titles with the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) championship and the U18 National Championship.
Rochester used its first of two second-round picks to select Doolittle, a 2022 Minto Cup champion, at 30th overall.
Following a brief three-game stint with the Barrie Lakeshores in 2018, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound defenseman earned a full-time roster spot with the Whitby Warriors the following summer and has remained there for the past four years.
In 71 career games at the Junior ‘A’ level, the Shelburne, Ontario, native has recorded 12 points (1+11) and 34 penalty minutes as well as seven assists in 22 playoff contests while serving as an alternate captain in 2023.