The Rochester Knighthawks announced today that they have added veteran defenseman Jon Sullivan to the active roster from the holdout list.
Sullivan was acquired from the Colorado Mammoth at the 2013 Trade Deadline, along with a third-round pick in the 2014 NLL Entry Draft, for veteran forward Casey Powell. Sullivan made his Rochester debut on March 30th against the Toronto Rock, but was then placed on the holdout list due to his work commitments with the Brampton Fire Department.
“Especially after how well the team did last year, I’m really excited to get into the lineup and get us back to where we ended up last year,” he said. “This is the longest I haven’t played lacrosse for since I was probably about 10 years old, so to be on the team that just won the Champion’s Cup, I’m definitely really excited to get back into it.”
The 6-foot-2 righty is entering his 10th season in the NLL. He was originally drafted by the Knighthawks in the fifth round of the 2003 NLL Entry Draft. He was a member of the Minnesota’s inaugural team in 2005, and played for the Swarm until 2011. Sullivan was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, and still ranks second in Swarm history with 385 loose balls. In 130 career games, he has scored 12 goals and 46 assists, and has accumulated 466 loose balls and 136 penalty minutes.
“He’s a stay-at-home type defender who is able to match up with the other team’s big guys,” said Rochester Head Coach Mike Hasen. “He also plays a very good team game. He has that ability to get that loose ball and get up the floor for us as well.”
“He’s fundamentally sound, and smart on the back end,” said Assistant Coach Jason Johnson. “He kind of reminds me of Rory Glaves a lot in that way. You don’t notice him because he doesn’t make many mistakes.”
Sullivan grew up 10 minutes down the street from Rochester goaltender Matt Vinc in St. Catharines, Ontario. The two Knighthawks have played together at the youth level, with the Junior and Senior “A” teams in St. Catharines, and with the Six Nations Chiefs. They won a Minto Cup together with the St. Catharines Athletics in 2003.
“We went to high school together and have known each other for a while, and have been real good friends now for a long time. Our families are pretty close too,” Sullivan said. “It will be like old times. It will be easy to settle into and I’m definitely excited to play with him again.”
“It’s great to have a guy like that, a true ‘D’ guy that works really hard on and off the floor,” Vinc said. “He’s one of my best friends and it’s a lot easier to play when you’re traveling and doing all of those things with one of your best friends.”
Sullivan thinks he’s ready to become a solid contributor to a team looking to make league history with a third consecutive championship.
“I think I can definitely help with the stay-at-home defense,” he said. “I’m not much of a goal scorer or a fighter or anything like that, but more of just the positional, steady, meat-and-potatoes kind of ‘D’ guy.”