The Rochester Knighthawks went into the 2022 National Lacrosse League draft with five picks, including the 1st overall, 25th overall, 45th overall, 60th overall and 65th overall. Going into the day it was obvious that general manager Dan Carey was happy to have the first selection, being able to hand pick whomever he wanted right out of the gate. From then on, the picks and moves would be up to who was left on the table when Rochester took its position on the clock.
After five selections turned into six following a late first-round acquisition, Carey felt really good about the draft this past Saturday in Toronto.
“We feel great. We addressed some of our needs and we feel like we got some players that are super talented and bring a lot to the table,” stated Carey when asked how he felt the day went as a whole. “We’re excited to get through today and I know it’s an exciting time for the draftees. To have the first overall pick is pretty special for us and I know it was for Thomas as well. So, we feel like we have some guys that are going to make us better and we’re really excited.”
From the first overall pick of the day to two final selections in the fourth round, Carey, in all, added five forwards and one defenseman in this year’s draft. With addressing the team’s needs in mind, offense was clearly a key focus for the Knighthawks future and Carey and his staff feel they made great strides towards that future with this year’s selections.
Let’s a closer look at the Knigthawks’ 2022 draft class.
1ST OVERALL (1ST ROUND) – FORWARD THOMAS MCCONVEY
McConvey will be transferring to the University of Virginia for his fifth year of NCAA eligibility this upcoming fall.
The 6-foot-4, 210 pound forward just finished up his senior season at the University of Vermont, compiling one of the most dominant offensive performances in program history in 2022, setting a program-record with 60 goals and adding 14 assists for a career-high 74 points while appearing in all 19 games with Vermont. In his senior season, McConvey earned himself the America East Offensive Player of the Year and ECAC Offensive Player of the Year honors.
In 52 career games with Vermont, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound midfielder totaled 174 points on 127 goals and 47 assists, finishing seventh all-time in scoring in program history. McConvey went on to record at least one point in every game over his four-year career, including a hat trick in eight straight games during his final season in 2022.
18TH OVERALL (1ST ROUND) – FORWARD AUSTIN HASEN
Later in the first round, Rochester acquired the 18th overall pick from the Las Vegas Desert Dogs in exchange for goaltender Joel Watson and its second-round pick in the 2024 NLL Entry Draft. The Knighthawks then selected Hasen at 18th overall to conclude the opening round. Austin Hasen, the son of Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen, will be fighting for a roster spot in Rochester for the 2022-23 campaign going into training camp.
Hasen has spent the last four years playing at Belmont Abbey College appearing in 51 contests during his tenure. In Hasen’s four-year collegiate career, he went on to register 58 career points on 113 goals and 41 assists. During Hasen’s senior season in 2022, the forward established career-highs in all offensive categories with 41 goals – on just 81 shots – and 17 assists for 58 points.
For Hasen’s offensive efforts in the 2022 campaign, he was named the 2022 Conference Carolinas Offensive Player of the Year after leading the Crusaders in scoring in addition to recording 81.5 percent of his shots on goal. Hasen also had seven caused turnovers and 14 groundballs, earning him a spot in the 2022 USILA Senior All-Star Game.
A native of Brampton, Ontario, Hasen is wrapping up his first season with the Peterborough Lakers of Major Series Lacrosse, notching 23 points on 11 goals and 12 assists in 12 games. Hasen also played five seasons of Junior ‘A’ ball with his hometown Brampton Excelsiors, recording 207 points (105+102) over 69 career games as well as 66 points (28+38) in 30 playoff appearances. He was an OLA Junior A Second Team All-Star selection following the 2019 season.
Additionally, Hasen won a gold medal while representing Team Canada internationally at the 2019 World Junior Lacrosse championship.
25TH OVERALL (2ND ROUND) – FORWARD THOMAS VELA
With Rochester’s only pick in the second round, the team went with Vela, who will more than likely be fighting for a roster spot come training camp for the 2022-23 campaign.
A native of Burnaby, British Columbia, Vela split the 2022 season at the junior and senior level with the Burnaby Lakers as well as brief stints with both the Langley Thunder and New Westminster Salmonbellies.
Vela spent the majority of the campaign playing Junior ‘A’ ball with the Burnaby Lakers of the British Columbia Lacrosse Association, recording 71 points (36+35) in 14 games. Additionally, Vella combined for 12 points (7+5) over six Senior ‘A’ games between Langley, New Westminster and Burnaby of the Western Lacrosse Association.
45TH OVERALL (3RD ROUND) – FORWARD PARKER PIPHER
For Rochester’s lone third-round pick, the team selected their fourth forward of the day in selecting Pipher, a 2022 Minto Cup winner of the Whitby Warriors.
In two seasons with Whitby, Pipher has totaled 49 points (11+38) in 32 games while also adding one goal in eight playoff contests. Pipher went on to score the game-winning goal to give Whitby its eighth Minto Cup in the championship matchup.
60TH OVERALL (4TH ROUND) – FORWARD/TRANSITION PLAYER SPENCER BELL
Bell is a Fairport, New York native and will be returning to RIT for his fifth year of eligibility this fall.
In three seasons at RIT, Bell appeared in 56 career games, producing 106 points on 73 goals and 33 assists. During his senior season in 2022, Bell totaled career-highs while appearing in 22 games and notching 34 goals and 45 points. Bell went on to record at least one point in the final 13 games of RIT’s 2022 campaign.
Bell is a two-time Liberty League Rookie of the Week selection whose also led the Tigers to back-to-back NCAA Division III championships back in 2021 and 2022.
For the last two years, Bell has played in the Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League with the Hawkeyes. In two seasons with the Hawkeyes, Bell has appeared in just eight games, tallying 14 points on 10 goals and four assists. During the 2022 season with the Hawkeyes, Bell helped lead the team to a UCBLL title as well as an appearance in the National Collegiate Box Series championships in August.
Prior to college, Bell attended Fairport High School where he captained the team his senior season in 2018 to a Section V Class A Championship in 2018.
65TH OVERALL (4TH ROUND) – DEFENSEMAN CARTER SCHOTT
With their very final pick of the day, the Knighthawks selected their first defenseman of the day with Schott.
Schott played two seasons of Junior ‘B’ lacrosse with the Green Gaels from 2018-19, recording 16 points (8+8) in 26 games. Additionally, Schott appeared in eight games with the Junior ‘A’ Whitby Warriors as well as six games in 2021 with Trent University.