The Rochester Knighthawks secured one of the fastest, toughest players from the 2013 National Lacrosse League Championship team with the re-signing of Jimmy Purves to a two-year deal. Purves (pronounced PURR-viss) returns to the Knighthawks after raising his first Champion’s Cup in 2013. The farm boy from Sarnia, Ontario did everything he could to contain his excitement after winning his first professional title.
“I was so excited I jumped off the bench and nearly fell over on the floor,” he said. “Coming from a small town and never expecting to ever play Junior ‘A’ to going all the way to winning the championship was a feeling that’s hard to describe. It was amazing, that’s for sure.”
Rochester acquired the 23-year-old transition man from the Buffalo Bandits at the 2013 NLL Trade Deadline. Purves played in five games for the Knighthawks and collected one goal and 15 loose balls. He joined the 2012 defending NLL Champion Knighthawks and made his Rochester debut on March 16th at home against the Edmonton Rush, along with Scott Self, who was also dealt to Rochester from Buffalo.
“Once we got used to the way everyone played, we fit in perfectly,” said Purves.
He wasted little time making a statement, applying punishing hits on two Edmonton forwards. Wearing his trademark high white socks, he was tough to miss. The self-proclaimed “ball hawk” also collected three loose balls along the way as he logged substantial minutes in his Rochester debut.
Two games later, he thrilled The Blue Cross Arena crowd with a behind-the-back goal against Philadelphia on April 6th, which reached No. 6 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. Then on April 20th, he was back in Buffalo with the Knighthawks to face his old team with the season on the line. In front of an NLL regular season record crowd of 19,070, Purves celebrated a 10-9 Rochester victory.
“That was a great feeling in front of a full crowd back in the old home territory,” said Purves. “It was winner takes it all and gets to go to the playoffs. It was big. I had a great time beating the boys in front of them.”
Purves finished the 2013 season by playing in a career-high 13 regular season and three postseason games. He started the season with Buffalo, where he appeared in eight games and recorded two goals, one assist and 25 loose balls. In 2012, Purves played in 12 games for the Bandits, registering seven points (4+3) and 41 loose balls. In 26 career games in three seasons, he has 11 points and 86 loose balls. The 6-0, 200-pound transition man was the Bandits’ fifth-round selection (47th overall) in the 2010 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft.
In 2010, he played in 20 games for the Sarnia Pacers of the Ontario Junior “B” Lacrosse League and finished tied for team lead in goals (24). He also led Sarnia in assists (29), points (53), penalty minutes (101) and shorthanded points (7). Purves also played for the Six Nations Arrows of the Ontario Junior “A” Lacrosse League in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, Purves won a Mann Cup with the Peterborough Lakers during a season in which he scored 10 goals and added 15 assists in 25 games.
One season later, he was raising the Champion’s Cup with the Rochester Knighthawks. This season, he has a chance to make history.
“Some of the guys already have two and are looking to get a third. For me, I am playing for my second,” said Purves. “I am excited to get out there and try to be a part of the first team to win three championships in-a-row. It will be hard to come by, but I know I am pushing myself hard to make sure we get that third one.”