ERIC SHEWELL TO MAKE HIS PRO DEBUT WITH KNIGHTHAWKSJan 12, 2018
(January 12, 2018)… The Rochester Knighthawks announced today that they have activated defenseman Eric Shewell (shoe-ull), and moved forward Eric Fannell to the practice squad. The 25-year-old Shewell is expected to make his professional debut tonight as the Knighthawks battle the Toronto Rock at the Air Canada Centre at 7:30 p.m.
“I am really excited,” said Shewell. “It’s something I have been working toward and something I have been looking forward to. Obviously, it’s nice playing in Toronto. I should have a decent amount of family and friends there. It’s definitely an exciting time.”
Patience and persistence are what have gotten the Peterborough, Ontario native to this point. After attending training camps with Colorado (2015) and Toronto (2016), Shewell refocused and lived in the gym to prepare himself for the next opportunity.
“I hit a wall in my development,” he said. “So I just decided that I had to put a little extra work in and try to take those steps forward.”
He also continued to hone his craft in Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) and in the several developmental leagues. In 2016, he played for the Durham Turfdogs of the Canadian Lacrosse League (CLax) and won the Creator’s Cup. The following season, he helped the Peterborough Timberman of the Arena Lacrosse League (ALL) advance to the 2017 league semifinals. The gritty defenseman then won a Mann Cup with the Peterborough Lakers this past summer, appearing in 17 regular season games and 12 playoff games en route to his first Senior “A” championship.
Everything was coming together for Shewell, which led to his invitation to camp by the Knighthawks. Right away, he knew that Rochester was a good fit for him.
“It was exciting (coming to the Knighthawks). It feels like home here,” said Shewell. “I know a lot of the guys and ‘Hazer’ (Mike Hasen) is on the staff. We have the Peterborough connection, along with some of my teammates. It was good to get to Rochester and go through the training camp process.”
Time is definitely something that Shewell has used to his advantage to set himself up for one of the biggest nights in his lacrosse career. After seeing preseason action with the team, Shewell was rewarded with his first pro contract and was named to the practice squad. Now, one month later, the youngster is on the verge of realizing his childhood dream of playing in the National Lacrosse League.
Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen, who coached Shewell in Peterborough, knows what to expect from the athletic, young defenseman.
“There is nothing flashy about his game. He is just steady and he’s just going to work hard,” said Hasen. “He’s a stay-at-home guy who is going to get in lanes and going to get a good cross-check on the opponent. He is going to take away time and space."