The National Lacrosse League will welcome 10 new members – including six with ties to the original Rochester Knighthawks franchise – to its Hall of Fame on Friday as part of the Class of 2021.
Here’s a closer look at those who spent significant time with the previous Knighthawks organization.
John Grant, Jr. – Forward
Perhaps the most identifiable name among the Class of 2021 is John Grant, Jr., whose 17-year playing career included a decade with the original Knighthawks from 2000 to 2010 after being selected first overall in 1999.
The Peterborough, Ontario, native retired in the top 10 all-time with 668 goals (2nd), 778 assists (6th), and 1,446 points (2nd). He’s also 12th all-time with 1,202 loose ball recoveries. He was the 2000 Rookie of the Year and named league MVP twice (2007 & 2012). Grant was named to the All-League First Team six times and Second Team three times. He led the league four times in goals (2005, 2006, 2007 & 2012) and was also named the Championship Game MVP in 2007.
Grant set the record for points in a season in 2012 at 116, which has since been surpassed and now ranks tied for fourth highest in league history. His 37 goals as a rookie are also tied for fourth best. In his 2012 MVP season, Grant Jr. averaged 8.29 points per game, an NLL record. He scored 40+ goals in a season 10 times in his career and surpassed 100 points in four different seasons.
Grant is currently the all-time leading goal scorer for the Halifax franchise. Grant’s #24 has been retired by Colorado, where he spent the final seven years of his career.
Steve Toll – Transition
Steve Toll played for 15 seasons with Ontario, Toronto, Rochester, San Jose, Colorado, and Edmonton after being drafted in the sixth round of the 1997 Entry Draft. He is a five-time champion: four with Toronto (1999, 2000, 2002 & 2003) and one with Rochester (2007).
Toll was named the first winner of the Transition Player of the Year Award in 2007, the same year he led the Knighthawks to their second NLL title and first since 1997. The St. Catharines, Ontario, native retired in the top 10 all-time with 1,562 loose-ball recoveries in the regular season and an additional 160 in the playoffs. He averaged over two points per game and 7.97 loose ball recoveries per game throughout his career.
Toll played in 188 consecutive games between 2000-2011, which ranks tied for the third longest streak of all time.
Shawn Williams – Forward
Shawn Williams played 17 seasons with Ontario, Toronto, Buffalo, Rochester, and Edmonton. He is a two-time champion, including one with Rochester in 2007. He retired as one of only eight players to accumulate 1,100 career points.
Williams finished in the top 10 all-time in games played (9th), goals (9th), assists (7th).
In 2001, Williams surpassed the 100 loose ball total. He recorded 12 straight seasons of 20+ goals (six of those seasons had 30+).
He played a league-best 230 consecutive games from 2000-2014. He was named to the All-League First Team in 2004 and Second Team in 2007.
Casey Powell – Forward
Casey Powell played 11 seasons with Rochester, Anaheim, New York, Orlando, Boston, and Colorado after being selected first overall in the 1998 Entry Draft.
In 2010, the West Carthage, NY native became the only American player to win the MVP award. During the MVP campaign, Powell finished second in the NLL in goals scored and led the Orlando Titans to an 11-5 record. He led New York to the 2009 Championship Game, scoring 21 points in three games that postseason.
Powell retired after the 2014 season, 10th all-time with 33 playoff goals in only 13 playoff games.
Powell was named to the NLL All-Star game from 2007-2009. Powell is the all-time leader in points by an American in league history.
He was also a member of the 2008 Major League Lacrosse champion Rochester Rattlers.
Regy Thorpe – Defenseman
Regy Thorpe played his entire 15-year career in Rochester, just an hour away from his hometown of Auburn, NY. In addition to being a two-time champion (1997 & 2007). Thorpe remains the franchise’s leader with 193 games played, 966 loose ball recoveries and 385 penalty minutes. His 966 loose-ball recoveries ranked 11th all-time when he retired.
Thorpe also holds franchise playoff records in games played, loose ball recoveries and penalty minutes.
Pat McCready – Forward
Pat McCready played 17 seasons in the NLL and won three championships. He played with the Charlotte Cobras, Rochester Knighthawks, Buffalo Bandits and Toronto Rock. Two of his championships came with Rochester – 1997 and 2012, in which he was team captain – and one with Buffalo (2008).
He was named the 2011 NLL Defensive Player of the Year. The St. Catharines, Ontario, native retired following the 2012 season ranked third all-time in loose ball recoveries, second in penalty minutes, and seventh in games played.
McCready’s best season statistically came in 2002 where he set career highs with 16 goals, 24 assists and 173 loose balls while only serving 13 penalty minutes.