The Rochester Knighthawks announced that the team has moved rookie defenseman/transition man Brier Jonathan on the practice squad. Jonathan was the 27th overall pick in the 2014 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft.
“It feels good,” said Jonathan, who was activated from the injured reserve list. “I am one step closer to playing.”
The Knighthawks are currently 7-3 and in second place in the East Division after winning their fifth straight game this past weekend in Calgary. The rugged 6-3, 195-pound Jonathan has been a member of the Knighthawks for nearly five months and has used that time to sharpen his skills.
“I have learned to adapt to their system,” he said. “I toned up my game, learned what to expect and what I need to do to get better.”
The 21-year-old Jonathan is the youngest member of one of the stingiest defenses in the National Lacrosse League. It is a group led by team captain Sid Smith and assistant captain Mike Kirk. Kirk, who is in his ninth season in the NLL, said he sees a lot of potential in the former Six Nations Arrows defenseman.
“The kid can play. He has a great lacrosse IQ,” said Kirk. “Combined with his skill and speed, he has bought into our system.”
Prior to arriving in Rochester, Jonathan played for Six Nations and won the prestigious Minto Cup in 2014. The championship was his second in three years after winning the Founders Cup with the Junior “B” Six Nations Rebels in 2012.
When he signed with Rochester in October, Knighthawks Assistant General Manager Landon Miller, who also works with the Arrows, let the lacrosse world know what to expect out of Jonathan.
“He is a guy who can fit right into our system. He has played in a similar system with the Arrows,” said Miller. “He’s smart, in great shape, plays tough pressure ‘D’ and can push the ball up the floor.”
With his latest promotion, Jonathan is even closer to making the 20-man active roster. His goal of playing in the NLL has been fueled by the advice of his grandfather, former National Hockey League enforcer Stan Jonathan.
“I have to keep giving it everything I’ve got,” he said. “I have to keep asking questions and learning from the veterans.”