KNIGHTHAWKS SIGN GRITTY DEFENSEMAN ERIC SHEWELLSep 21, 2017
(September 21, 2017)… The Rochester Knighthawks announced today that they have signed Eric Shewell (shoe-ull) to a one-year deal. The gritty defenseman recently won a Mann Cup with the Peterborough Lakers, playing under Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen.
“It’s an exciting opportunity and a new challenge,” said Shewell. “I feel good coming into camp and feel comfortable having had ‘Haser’ as my coach the past couple of years, and playing with a lot of guys who are current Knighthawks.”
In 2017, Shewell appeared in 17 regular season games and 12 playoff games en route to his first Senior “A” championship. Growing up in the lacrosse hotbed of Peterborough, Ontario, he first picked up a lacrosse stick because of the Mann Cup. To finally raise the trophy, which was first handed out in 1910, was an amazing achievement.
“It was something I dreamt of doing, but I never really thought I would get there,” said Shewell, who was more focused on a hockey career as a kid. “It has been a whirlwind (the past two weeks). It has definitely been a dream come true.”
With the Lakers, the 25-year-old has played with current Knighthawks Matt Vinc, Josh Currier, Dylan Evans, Ian Llord, Joel Matthews, Jake Withers and Cory Vitarelli.
“‘Shewie’ has proved he belongs in the NLL because of his work ethic, gritty style of play and because he has shown he can play Haser’s defense,” said Vinc. “I think it’s a steal that we were able to sign him as a free agent.”
Hasen, who has coached Shewell for three seasons, sees a lot of potential in the stay-at-home defenseman.
“He is a young guy who is still learning,” he said. “There is nothing flashy about his game. He is an in-your-face type of defenseman.”
“He has steadily gotten better and this is the first year where he played every game for us,” added Hasen. “He is improving every time he steps on the floor.”
Shewell has spent the past four seasons with the hometown Peterborough Lakers, appearing in 46 regular season games. He played his junior lacrosse with the Peterborough Junior “A” Lakers. In his final season of junior ball, he racked up 100 penalty minutes in just 17 games in 2013.
Prior to winning the Mann Cup this summer, Shewell played for the Peterborough Timberman of the Arena Lacrosse League (ALL) and advanced to the league semifinals. In 12 games, he collected six points (1+5). The previous season, he played for the Durham Turfdogs of the Canadian Lacrosse League (CLax) and won the Creator’s Cup.
Shortly after playing his only season of CLax, Shewell earned an invitation to training camp, signing with the Toronto Rock. In 2015, the undrafted free agent signed with the Colorado Mammoth and attended his first professional camp. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound defenseman now has another opportunity to impress an NLL team after signing with the Knighthawks.
“With a nine-team league and being at the other camps, I know how hard it is to earn a roster spot and earn a job in this league,” he said. “I will definitely take that into consideration heading into camp. The work starts now.”