JACKSON AGREES TO FIVE-YEAR EXTENSIONDec 5, 2018
(December 5, 2018)… The Rochester Knighthawks announced today that they have re-signed Kyle Jackson to a five-year deal. After two impressive seasons, the former first-round selection solidified his commitment to the organization and Owner and General Manager Curt Styres by signing the multi-year deal.
“I told Curt, when I got drafted, that I was in this for the long haul and I was never going anywhere,” said Jackson. “I am extremely honored to have a partnership with the Knighthawks this year and for years to come.”
Getting Jackson re-signed to a long-term contract was one of the team’s biggest offseason priorities.
“Kyle has become one of the most productive players in our lineup, and the NLL,” said Styres. “We are excited to have him on board for the next five seasons.”
The 25-year-old forward was one of the focal points of the offense as Rochester advanced to the 2018 National Lacrosse League Finals. He tied for third on the team with nine postseason assists while scoring five times to conclude his first trip to the playoffs with 14 points in five games.
During the 2017-18 regular season, Jackson set career bests in goals (37), assists (36) and points (73), as he finished tied for the team lead in goals, and placed third in assists and points. He was a model of consistency, joining Cody Jamieson and Joe Resetarits as one of only three Rochester players to record a point in all 18 games. In 34 games with the Knighthawks, Jackson has now registered 63 goals and 70 assists for 133 points.
“Over the last two years, he has taken his game to a new level,” said Knighthawks assistant coach Mike Accursi. “He continues not only to push himself but his teammates. He is a guy who leads by example, and someone guys look up to. He is a dynamic athlete who is going to be a great player for this organization for a long time.”
Rochester surprised the lacrosse experts when it chose Jackson with the seventh overall selection in the 2016 NLL Entry Draft. But, the Knighthawks’ lacrosse staff knew what they were doing when they selected the former collegiate and Junior “A” standout.
Jackson made school history by becoming the first player in University of Michigan history to be selected in the NLL Entry Draft. He left Ann Arbor, Mich., as the school’s all-time leader in goals (88) and points (113). With the Wolverines, he was a two-time team Offensive MVP (2015-16), an All-ECAC First Team selection (2014), and Michigan’s Most Valuable Player (2016). His resume also included 198 points in five seasons with the Junior A Kitchener-Waterloo Braves.
In his first season, the Sarnia, Ontario, native rewarded the Knighthawks for taking him so high in the draft by posting the second-most goals (34) and points (60) on the team. He was also second in the NLL in goals among rookies. For his efforts, the University of Michigan product was selected to the All-Rookie Team and finished second in the league’s Rookie of the Year voting behind Toronto’s Tom Schreiber. Jackson was also named the team’s 2017 Rookie of the Year and the Knighthawks’ Offensive MVP.
“‘KJ’ has been a key part of our offense since he got drafted,” said fellow forward Cody Jamieson. “His speed and athleticism put opponents in tough positions. He also can pull up and has a deadly shot. He’s a tough matchup for anyone.”
Prior to his sophomore season in Rochester, he won a bronze medal with the Iroquois Nationals at the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championship. Jackson, who is of Aamjiwnaang First Nations descent, scored three goals to help the Iroquois defeat Puerto Rico, 14-7, and advance to the semifinals.
After an impressive showing on the international stage, Jackson joined Rochester for the 2017-18 NLL season. Jackson and the Knighthawks rallied from a 2-6 start and secured second place in the East Division. After postseason wins over New England and Georgia, Rochester got within one win of capturing the franchise’s sixth NLL Cup. Having the majority of the forwards back from last year bodes well for Jackson and the Knighthawks.
“I think with expansion, we were a team that didn’t lose a whole lot of guys (offensively),” he said. “We are better off for that because we have a young group. I think we are in a great spot to do great things."