Jan 28, 2017

John Rae main.jpg(January 28, 2017)… The Rochester Knighthawks are reloading their roster for tonight’s showdown against the rival Toronto Rock. After activating Andrew Suitor, Cody Jamieson and Dan Dawson, the Knighthawks have added one more player to the active roster by announcing the promotion of John Rae from the practice squad.

“It was a shock when the phone rang and it was (owner and GM) Curt Styres,” said Rae about when he received the news. “I figured that’s what it was about. It didn’t know when the call was going to happen, but I am glad it’s this weekend.”

Rae joined the Knighthawks on August 4 after signing a one-year contract with the team. The free agent defenseman agreed to the deal prior to attending Rochester’s Rookie Development Camp. The 27-year-old Barrie, Ontario native impressed the coaches during camp and preseason. On Dec. 19, he achieved a personal milestone when he was assigned to the Knighthawks practice squad.

“I like his speed and his physicality,” said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. “He hits bodies hard and does good things out there. This is his opportunity.”

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound defenseman has been working hard to crack an NLL lineup for the past six years. Rae played his junior ball in Barrie from 2007-08 and in 2010. During his career, he played in 40 games and collected six goals and six assists. It was following his Junior “A” season in 2010 that he was selected in the NLL Entry Draft by the Colorado Mammoth. His journey to the NLL has taken him to training camps with the Mammoth, Vancouver Stealth and Knighthawks. When he arrived in Rochester in November, Rae took a different approach to camp and it paid dividends.

“This year, I didn’t get too far ahead of myself,” he said. “I took it slower and appreciated it more. I went day by day, enjoyed it and embraced it, and it turned out better than in previous years.”

This evening, Rae will finally get his chance to play in an NLL game as he suits up for the East Division battle between the Knighthawks and Toronto Rock. Rae will make his professional lacrosse debut in the building where he watched his first NLL game.

“I am not nervous because it’s something I have been doing my whole life,” he said. “It’s like any other game, you just go out there and do your job.”

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