When the Buffalo Bandits final active roster was completed in December, Bandits fans were a little worried that with the departure of Rory Smith to Vancouver this meant that the team were left with only three pure defensemen to keep opponents away from starting goaltender Anthony Cosmo.
Looking to help stabilize his defensive corps heading into the end of the regular season and hopefully into the playoffs, Buffalo Bandits general manager Steve Dietrich used the NLL trade deadline to strike a deal with the Rochester Knighthawks that would send defender Jamie Batson, a second round selection in the 2016 NLL draft and a second round selection in the 2017 NLL draft to Buffalo for Bandits forward Joe Resetarits and their third round selection in the 2016 NLL Draft pending league approval.
The main questions that have been going through the mind of Bandits fans ever since the trade occurred with the Knighthawks has been who is Jamie Batson and what will be bring to the team?
The 6-foot, 199-pound defenseman from Comox, BC brings with him three years of experience playing in Major Series Lacrosse with the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks (which Dietrich also serves as general manager) and four years of experience in the National Lacrosse League with the Rochester Knighthawks.
Following Batson’s lacrosse career on the rise into the National Lacrosse League found him beginning to earn notice as he earned 2011 Most Valuable Defensive Player honors as a member of the Senior B Ohsweken Warriors. Jumping forward from the Senior B level to the Senior A level in 2012 Batson was recognized as an MSL Rookie of the Year candidate in his first season with the Kodiaks as he recorded 2 points (2A) in 13 regular season games while playing all four games in the 2012 MSL playoffs.
In his overall MSL career so far with the Kodiaks, Batson has recorded twelve points (5G, 7A) in 45 regular season games and three points (3G) in thirteen playoff games.
Batson made his NLL debut on February 18th 2012 playing a mixed variety of positions in defense, transition and even taking some faceoffs as the Knighthawks came from behind to beat the Washington Stealth 15-12. In his three seasons with the Knighthawks, Batson has recorded 21 loose balls in eight career games from 2012-2015.
The incalculable assets that Batson will bring to the Bandits defensive corps will be his speed and his grit/determination. In a previous interview, former Knighthawks teammate Mike Kirk said that Batson “has an incredible first step and a great burst of speed and when he picks up that loose ball, you are always chasing him. He is a physical guy and likes the physical part of the game.”
Knighthawks assistant coach Pat O’Toole also spoke highly of Batson’s physical presence on the floor with “everyone knows he is a big, strong guy and when he hits you, you’re going to feel it.”