In his first season with the Rochester Knighthawks, forward Connor Fields has been without a doubt the team’s most valuable player and one of the most elite players in the National Lacrosse League.
He has done nearly everything this season for the team and now all that remains is helping the Knighthawks secure their first playoff berth in franchise history.
Fields was acquired by the Knighthawks along with goaltender Riley Hutchcraft and the first overall pick in the 2022 NLL Entry Draft from the Las Vegas Desert Dogs during the 2022 Expansion Draft.
Connor Fields is just the third American-born player to hit the 100 point mark in a single season 👏 pic.twitter.com/q9UM7omWlf
— Rochester Knighthawks (@RocKnighthawks) April 10, 2023
“Prior to the season, when I spoke with Dan (Knighthawks general manager Dan Carey) and the coaching staff, the confidence they had in me even before I put the Knighthawks uniform on gave me a ton of confidence,” Fields explained. “To have someone to have such high confidence in me, made me want to perform at an even higher level and not let them down. I wanted to prove to them they made the right decision in bringing me in.”
And he has done that in spades.
Not only did the forward score a pair of goals to go with eight assists for his third 10-point performance of the season last Saturday against Albany, he also recorded his 15th consecutive multi-goal game and officially reached the 100-point mark for the first time in his professional career.
100TH CAREER GOAL ✔️
100TH POINT ON THE SEASON ✔️ https://t.co/7KltRrY9ba
— Rochester Knighthawks (@RocKnighthawks) April 9, 2023
Fields, whose led the team in scoring in 14 of his 15 games this season, has recorded at least one point in 45 of his 47 career games dating back to his rookie season in 2019-20.
“Connor is a skilled, athletic player,” said Carey. “He is competitive guy who wants the ball on his stick every shift. He is in unbelievable shape and if it was possible, he would take every shift of the game.”
The East Amherst, New York, native became the first player in franchise history and only the third American-born player in NLL history to record 100 points in a season, a feat previously accomplished by Philadelphia’s Joe Resetarits, a former Knighthawk in the previous organization, in 2018 and 2022 as well as Toronto’s Tom Schreiber this season. More impressively, he reached the mark on his 100th career goal.
“Res and Tom are two players I hate to play against, but I enjoy watching them,” admitted Fields. “While I respect them, I want to outplay and outperform them every chance I get.”
“It’s a true and special honor to be mentioned in the same sentence amongst those two outstanding players.”
Through 15 games this season, Fields ranks second in the league in goals (48), fourth in shots (178), fifth in points (103) and 12th in assists (55). With two games remaining in the regular season, he’s already set the single-season franchise marks for goals, points, and assists, all of which came over three consecutive weeks, and has led the team in scoring in all but one of his outings this season.
Despite the OT loss, Connor Fields showed UP tonight.
🥍 4 Goals
🥍 2 Assists
🥍 14 Shots on Goal
Watch his highlights: pic.twitter.com/yWwYswwwCA
— NLL (@NLL) April 3, 2023
Fields attributes he discovered his offensive prowess playing collegiate ball at the University at Albany, where he was a four-time All-American.
“During my time at Albany was when I found out I could produce at a high level,” said Fields. “Playing on the same team as Lyle Thompson and others, it made me realize I had a lot of untapped potential.”
And the skill-set that he’s been molding since his college days is exactly the reason which made him so desirable in the first place.
Connor Fields really is on another level. pic.twitter.com/vHlPtTxqIY
— Rochester Knighthawks (@RocKnighthawks) April 3, 2023
“Since we acquired Connor, it’s not surprising to us as an organization to see all the success he has had so far this season,” said Carey. “After getting to know him, you can see how hard he works, how much he cares about his teammates and his character.”
“Connor has been on some very strong teams in the past in San Diego and Buffalo, and I think he was not given the same opportunities he has earned here this year,” continued Carey. “He didn’t have the same opportunities to have this kind of impact. His quick step and touch around the net is pretty dynamic and unique,” concluded Carey.
“We have a lot of elite players here in Rochester and if we all are playing to the best of our abilities, the other teams cannot stop us,” Fields said. “That is one of my favorite mottos, too. Be the best player I can and do everything I can to help the team.”
The best part about Fields: he’s under contract for the next two seasons. One can only imagine what kind of numbers he will be putting up as the team continues to push for a playoff spot and what the future has in store.