Oakville, ON – Toronto Rock General Manager Jamie Dawick announced today that Rock captain Challen Rogers has agreed to a 7-year contract extension, the longest in franchise history. The signing is pending league approval.
Prior to the 2018-19 season, Rogers became the youngest captain in Rock franchise history and with the signing of this long-term agreement he has once again made history. At 26-years old, he’s already the back-to-back NLL Transition Player of the Year and the future looks even brighter for the Coquitlam, BC native.
“Challen is the captain, the leader of this team, and a superstar in the league,” said Dawick. “This is a huge commitment from us to Challen and from Challen to the Toronto Rock. Together, we can focus on winning a championship and bringing multiple championships to Toronto over the next seven years. I’m extremely excited that he’s a Rock for the foreseeable future.”
The Rock were in the enviable position of having the number two overall selection in the 2016 NLL Draft and they used that pick to select Rogers from the Coquitlam Jr. A Adanacs of the BCJALL and the NCAA’s Stony Brook University.
“After getting drafted by the Rock, from that moment, this is where I wanted to play my whole career and a contract of this length is a big step in that direction,” said Rogers. “The length of the deal was a bit shocking initially, and I guess I’m still a bit speechless, but it’s a huge honour. In talking with Jamie, I see the commitment and confidence he has in me to lead this team, and I wanted to show that same commitment back to him with this deal. I love the group here, and there is nowhere else I want to be.”
Rock and NLL Hall of Famer Jim Veltman captained the team to five championships in ten years between 1999 and 2008 and played the most number of seasons with the ‘C’ on his jersey. At the end of this contract, Rogers will have served as Rock Captain for nine years, putting him in elite company.
“What defined the legacy of Jim and a few other guys like Whip (Bob Watson) and Colin (Doyle) was their ability to win,” said Rogers. “Hopefully in the next 7 years, along with the rest of the group, we can bring some more championships back to Toronto.”
A midfielder with the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse (MLL), Rogers won his first professional championship over the weekend in Annapolis, MD when his Cannons defeated the Denver Outlaws in the MLL final to cap off an abbreviated season.
“The way our team came together in such a short amount of time was pretty impressive,” said Challen of his squad’s short but efficient trip to victory. “You have different personalities and different guys that play different ways, but everyone figured out how do their part and play as a team, which led us to the ultimate success. I think all that applies if you want to win a championship, no matter how long your season is.”