Rochester Knighthawks General Manager and Vice President of Lacrosse Operations Dan Carey announced today that the team has re-signed transition players Cory Highfield and Chris Willman to one-year contracts for the 2021-22 season, pending league approval.
Selected in the second-round (18th overall) of the 2019 NLL Entry Draft, Highfield led all Knighthawks rookies and finished seventh overall on the team in scoring with 13 points (9+4) in 12 games during Rochester’s inaugural season. He also ranked third on the team with four power-play goals and led all first-year players with 42 shots.
Prior to turning pro, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound transition man played four years of college lacrosse with the UMass-Lowell River Hawks. After being held to just 12 points in each of his first three seasons, Highfield enjoyed a breakout year in 2019 when he erupted for a career-high 38 points on 18 goals and 20 assists. He also added 14 ground balls in 14 games before closing out his collegiate career with 80 points (39+41) in 56 games. As a freshman in 2015, the Brampton, Ontario, native was credited with scoring the first goal in UMass-Lowell’s DI history and was named to the America East All-Rookie Team.
In 2017, he helped the Six Nations Arrows capture the Minto Cup.
Willman returns for his second season with the expansion-era Knighthawks after producing five assists in eight games with Rochester in 2019-20. He also served as one of the team’s face-off specialists, winning 44-of-104 face-off attempts
A native of London, 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.