Oakville, ON – The National Lacrosse League (NLL) Expansion Draft was completed earlier today with the San Diego Seals and Philadelphia Wings selecting players from the nine existing NLL teams. 18 players in total were selected in the nine-round draft as each of the existing franchises lost two players in total through the process.
With the first overall selection in the Expansion Draft, Philadelphia selected Rock forward Brett Hickey. Immediately following that pick, San Diego selected Rock forward Turner Evans. The second selection from the Rock unprotected list meant that Toronto had lost two players and the Rock were locked off from losing anyone else to the Seals or Wings.
“I’ve been very vocal through this process about not wanting to lose anyone,” said Rock Owner, President and GM Jamie Dawick. “However, when expansion takes place, teams are going to lose very good players and players that have been very important pieces of the puzzle.”
Hickey, 28, hails from Windsor, ON and spent the past four seasons with the Rock. During his time in Toronto, he scored 137 goals, 89 assists and 226 points in just 62 games. He set a Rock record with 50 goals in his first season with Toronto in 2015, making him the only player in franchise history to top the 50-goal mark. Hickey was originally signed as an unrestricted free agent prior to the 2015 season after spending his first few pro seasons with the Stealth franchise.
“We knew there was a high likelihood of Brett being selected when we left him unprotected,” said Dawick. “He’s been very good for us and he was instrumental in us winning the East in 2015 and advancing to the NLL Cup that season. As an organization, we wish him nothing but the best and we are sad to see him go. He will have a good opportunity in Philadelphia to be just as important to the Wings as he was to the Rock during his four seasons.”
Evans, 24, missed the entire 2017-18 season recovering from off-season knee surgery. The Peterborough, ON native was the Rock’s first selection (2nd Round, 10th overall) in the 2015 NLL Draft. Evans scored 20 goals, 52 assists and 72 points in 26 games over two seasons with the Rock.
“A lot of players who were high NLL Entry Draft picks were selected today and Turner is one of those guys,” said Dawick. “With Turner not playing this past season there was some hope that maybe he could fly under the radar and we might not lose him. But he’s having a good season with Peterborough (MSL) this summer and (San Diego Head Coach and GM) Pat Merrill and (San Diego Assistant Coach) Josh Sanderson know our team very well from their time here. It’s unfortunate, but we hope Turner has a lot of success in San Diego.”
All players on the Rock’s unprotected list that weren’t selected in the NLL Expansion Draft, along with the players the Rock protected, will remain property of the Toronto Rock.
For the full NLL Expansion Draft results, please visit NLL.com.
2018-19 Toronto Rock Season Tickets and Season Passes are on sale now. To purchase or for more information, please visit torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.