The rich get richer, at least in Major League Lacrosse. The New York Lizards added yet another piece to its offensive juggernaut with the signing of midfielder Joe Walters. Walters, who has played his MLL career with the Chesapeake Bayhawks, Rochester Rattlers, Hamilton Nationals, and Florida Launch, had declared for player movement this off season.
“I am beyond ecstatic to sign with the New York Lizards, a franchise that is dedicated to excellence,” said Walters in the team’s press release. “I am very excited to join my new teammates and get to work, with our goal of winning a Championship.”
Walters becomes the third player to sign elsewhere after declaring. The deal is for two years, and he will essentially replace Jojo Marasco in the lineup, who was traded to the Rochester Rattlers later this year.
Going to the Bayhawks for compensation is the eighth overall pick in the collegiate draft. According to Joe Keegan of Lacrosse Magazine via Twitter, Walters has the fourth most points per game in the league over the past three seasons.
New York’s offensive lineup is deep already after the team acquired Drew Westervelt from the Bayhawks at the trade deadline of last season, and are also led by Paul Rabil and Rob Pannell. Walters will fit in in the midfield, and since he plays in the NLL with the Rochester Knighthawks, will likely miss the first few games of the regular season.
“This is an enormous move for our organization. Joe Walters is a world-class player and person. He was one of the most dominant players in the league last season,” said Lizards General Manager and Head Coach, Joe Spallina in the press release.. “Players like this do not become available very often, so when they do, you go all out to give your pitch. Joe was able to see the vision of our franchise and felt that New York was the right fit.”