BRAD KRI SIGNS 5-YEAR EXTENSION
Shutdown Defender Agrees To Long-Term Deal
Oakville, ON – Toronto Rock General Manager Jamie Dawick announced today that Rock defender Brad Kri has agreed to a 5-year contract extension. The signing is pending league approval.
Kri was originally selected in the second round, 14th overall by the Rock in the 2012 NLL Draft. After spending his first season on the practice roster in 2013, Kri found a home with Vancouver for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, before returning to Toronto as a free agent just prior to the 2016 campaign.
“Brad has developed into the player we thought he’d be when we drafted him,” said Dawick. “I think he belongs in the conversation with the Hossacks and Rubischs of the world as one of the top defenders in the league. He’s proven to be one of the best at turning the ball over, and a guy you don’t want to play against. He’s similar to Challen (Rogers) in a lot of ways with the long term commitment we’ve made to each other. These are the guys we want around here for the long term. He’s been a warrior and we’re committed to him and focused on winning.”
The journey is not lost on Kri. After being released by the Rock during training camp for the 2014 season, he found himself in the same position heading into that 2016 season, being released by Vancouver and then Calgary after a one-game look in an exhibition contest.
“Things were uncertain after my first year, not knowing my future, with the Rock let alone the NLL,” said Kri. “To come full circle and earn my way back was humbling. It makes this contract even more rewarding that it was a five-year deal and that Jamie, and the organization has the confidence that I can come out and prove myself for another five years.”
Kri brings so much to the table. He’s improved his transition game over the past couple of seasons as well, making him an even more dangerous weapon on the floor. There’s not too many shifts where number 20 hasn’t laid his body on the line to make a play, laying a big hit and picking up a loose ball or stepping in front of a shot to block its path to the goal. The 28-year old from Acton, ON can also step into the faceoff circle and handle the bulk of the work as the team’s drawman if needed, operating at a 54 percent success rate at the dot over his 7-year NLL career.
“It was exciting to hear five years, especially knowing Jamie hasn’t done a lot of long term deals in the past,” expressed Kri. “It’s exciting, comforting, and an honour to play for the Rock for another five years.”
Over the next five campaigns, the goal remains the same for Kri, and that’s to bring a championship to Rock City. It’s something he believes was possibly in the cards for the Rock in 2020, had the season not been cancelled.
“Prior to the pandemic, we were in the mix to compete for a championship,” said Kri. “That being said, it’s exciting to have another shot at it next year. Our roster has only gotten better during the off season. Last season, I think we added some pieces that were missing, and now adding more key defenders, the outlook is even more promising for our future.”
The NLL’s free agency period began today. Free agents are now able to sign wherever they choose.
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