KNIGHTHAWKS SIGN NICK DAMUDE TO TWO-YEAR DEALOct 10, 2018
(October 10, 2018)… The Rochester Knighthawks announced today that they have signed Nick Damude (DAY-mewd) to a two-year deal. The Pelham, Ontario, native was one of the most coveted goalies in the 2018 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft.
“He’s a good, young goalie who will develop for the future,” said Knighthawks assistant coach Mike Accursi. “He was a good fit for us. He was the best goalie in the league at the junior level this year. He’s got a lot of upside to him and a lot of potential. We are looking for the next generation of goalie, and he has shown signs that he can be that goalie.”
The Knighthawks took Damude in the fourth round after acquiring the 40th overall pick from Philadelphia for their fourth-round pick in the 2019 NLL Entry Draft. The 19-year-old, who was accompanied by his parents, Paul and Debbie, at the draft, reflected on the night he became a professional lacrosse player.
“It was surreal. I really didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “There’s a lot of nerves while you’re waiting for your name to be called. When your name’s finally called, it’s just a relief. It’s years of hard work going into one moment.”
By inking his first pro contract, he checked off another box on his list of lacrosse ambitions.
“I am pretty excited,” he said. “It’s a lifelong goal finally come true, signing with a pro team.”
This past season, Damude posted an 11-6 record and a 7.12 goals-against average. His .816 save percentage was second best in the Ontario junior loop, while his 533 saves were tied for third. He also logged 1,011 minutes in 17 games for the Athletics.
During the playoffs, he led St. Catharines to a berth in the Ontario Semifinals as he maintained the best goals-against average (5.65) and save percentage (.865) in the league. After recording the finest season of his career, he now owns a 19-21 record, a 7.93 goals-against average and a .783 save percentage at the Junior “A” level, all with the Athletics.
“He was always the best goalie all the way up from minors to juniors,” said Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres. “(Rylan) Hartley and (Steven) Orleman were gone (in the draft), but, personally, out of the three, I liked Damude better.”
Damude, who has one year left in juniors, said he has to take his game to another level as he prepares for a career in the NLL.
“The nets are bigger, and the sticks are smaller, so I need to focus more on my movement and flexibility,” he said. “But, goaltending is goaltending. It’s tracking a shot and staying in the groove."