NLL rosters are due by Friday, but the New England Blackwolves already have their team. The 2018 roster was announced Wednesday afternoon.
All of the Black Wolves’ big guns have returned, including Shawn Evans, Kevin Buchanan, Kyle Buchanan and Kevin Crowley. Evans will look to build upon a year in which he led the team in points (103) and assists (65), and scored 100 points for a league record fifth consecutive season, stated a team press release. Crowley is coming off a career and team-best 45 goal season.
Evans returns to the pack after a successful summer campaign in which he led the Peterborough Lakers to the Canadian championship Mann Cup. It was Evans’ fifth Mann Cup win; he also picked up the Mike Kelley award as the championship MVP for the second time in his career. Evans was joined by Kyle Buchanan, the Lakers’ MVP in his first season with the team.
Aaron Bold replaces Evan Kirk as the Black Wolves’ starter, while Doug Jamieson retains his backup role in his sophomore season. Rance Vigneux also returns to the team on the practice roster.
Three new defensemen join the pack this season. John Lafontaine was acquired along with Bold from the Rush. David Brock came over from the Bandits as a free agent, and Adam Bomberry was acquired from the Knighthawks.
Rookies include Oshawa’s Colton Watkinson and Ottawa’s JP Kealey, the 7th and 10th round picks, respectively, from the recent NLL draft. Fellow draftees Anthony Joaquin, Nick Mariano and Nick Chaykowsky round out the practice roster.
The most notable person missing from the Black Wolves roster is veteran Bill O’Brien. The 6’4, 235 lb. defender plays a physical style of game, but the Black Wolves elected to not bring back the NLL’s second place PIM leader for the 2018 season.
Love him or hate him (he’s the type of player for which there is seemingly no in between), O’Brien is one of the game’s most passionate and hard-working players. Cutting someone who has ingrained himself into the lacrosse world so positively was a difficult decision. O’Brien is a role model for his community, running Thompson Brothers Lacrosse and working with Indigenous youth lacrosse across the U.S.
“By all accounts, this was the toughest training camp the Black Wolves have had to date and the talent and skill level of the players selected certainly reflect that,” Black Wolves general manager Rich Lisk said in the release. “We made some tough decisions, but we are confident and excited about the product we will be putting on the field for the 2018 season.”
The Black Wolves open the 2018 campaign on Friday, December 8, hosting the NLL champion Georgia Swarm at Mohegan Sun.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown
77 Aaron Bold G 6-2 205 Victoria, BC
10 Adam Bomberry D 6-1 215 Akwesasne, NY
4 David Brock D 6-4 223 Burlington, ON
27 Kevin Buchanan F 5-10 185 Cockeysville, MD
91 Kyle Buchanan F 5-8 165 Nepean, ON
71 Sheldon Burns D 6-1 185 Whitby, ON
41 Mark Cockerton F 5-10 185 Oshawa, ON
24 Joel Coyle D 5-11 175 Orangeville, ON
21 Kevin Crowley F 6-4 200 New Westminster, BC
15 Shawn Evans F 5-8 175 Peterborough, ON
30 Doug Jamieson G 6-3 275 Ohsweken, ON
83 JP Kealey F 6-0 188 Ottawa, ON
33 John LaFontaine T 6-1 215 Whitby, ON
13 Brett Manney D 6-3 220 Newtown, PA
9 Reilly O’Connor F 6-1 175 Whitby, ON
12 Seth Oakes F 5-11 190 Akwesasne, NY
45 Matt Spanger D 6-4 200 Toronto, ON
7 Derek Suddons D 6-1 222 Whitby, ON
75 Jay Thorimbert T 6-0 199 Niagara-On-The Lake, ON
17 Colton Watkinson T 6-4 195 Burlington, ON
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown
22 Nick Chaykowsky F 6-2 190 Bradford, ON
44 Anthony Joaquim T 6-2 205 Guelph, ON
23 Nick Mariano F 6-0 180 Yorktown Heights, NY
67 Rance Vigneaux G 6-2 245 Guilford, ON