TORONTO – The Toronto Rock started to build for an unprecedented sixth NLL Championship today re-signing veteran transition player Chris Driscoll and gifted goal scorer Aaron Wilson.
The Rock also added some defensive depth and toughness by signing J.J. Dickie, originally a ninth-round Rock draft pick in 2000.
All three players, who are also teammates with the Ontario Lacrosse Association’s Brampton Excelsiors, agreed to one-year deals. As per club policy, other terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“Today we took an important step toward building for another championship,” said Head coach and GM Terry Sanderson.
Dickie will add some protection for star players, according to Sanderson who received glowing reviews on Dickie from his former summer-league coaches (and current Rock assistants) John Lovell and Matt Sawyer.
“He’s a tough kid who can do a little bit on both offence and defence,” said Sanderson. Dickie is currently ranked sixth in a list of the best lacrosse fighters published at www.laxmag.com. “J.J. knows how to handle himself. He’ll just add to our team, especially against teams that like to take advantage of our star players, he’ll be there to help curtail any of that type of activity.” While Dickie sat out the 2005 pro season, he played in one NLL game with the Arizona Sting in 2004, recording five penalty minutes.
In 14 games this summer, Dickie has recorded 13 points and 50 penalty minutes in 14 games as a member of the OLA Major Series Brampton Excelsiors. Sanderson said Driscoll, classified as an unrestricted free agent, and Wilson, a talented right-handed creaseman, were both important players in the Rock’s championship drive in 2005. “We’re thrilled to have both of those guys back,” said Sanderson. “Driscoll’s work ethic speaks for itself, and Wilson’s coming off a tremendous season where he scored 41 goals for us in the regular season.”
“They’re both very important pieces to our team.”
Last season, Wilson finished fourth on the Rock with 74 total points (41 G, 33 A), while Driscoll recorded 26 points (13 G, 13 A) and 33 penalty minutes. Driscoll, Wilson and Dickie join Jim Veltman and Colin Doyle as players who have signed with the Rock for the 2006 season. Veltman and Doyle both inked two-year deals with the Rock last fall.