Three Players Looking To Build On Successful Seasons
Oakville, ON – Toronto Rock Owner, President, and GM Jamie Dawick announced today that goaltender Troy Holowchuk and defenders Chris Weier and Jordan McKenna have agreed to three-year deals through the 2024-25 season.
The signings are pending league approval.
With so few goaltender spots available in a 15-team league where a team’s number one goalie plays almost every game, Troy Holowchuk made the best of a unique situation last season.
Well into his second season on the Rock practice roster, Holowchuk got his chance to move to the active roster in January. Backup goaltender Riley Hutchcraft was coming off the COVID-19 protocol list and hadn’t practiced with the club leading up to the Rock’s game vs. Halifax and the Rock coaching staff felt having Holowchuk backup Nick Rose was the better option. The 22-year-old St. Catharines, ON native made the best of the situation.
Rose struggled out of the gate and Holowchuk was called into action in the second quarter of the huge divisional matchup. The rookie goaltender gave the Rock the stops they needed to get to overtime, where they eventually came up short, but Holowchuk had made his mark playing 51 minutes and giving up just 8 goals.
Following the departure of Hutchcraft via the expansion draft, the stage is set for Holowchuk to assume the backup role to Rose this season.
“Troy is someone we’ve always believed in,” said Dawick. “He has spent two years on the practice roster and is ready for the next step. Fortunately for him, with Riley moving on, the backup spot opens up for him. We’re confident in him as a backup and know he can give us some quality minutes.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Weier battled injuries but that didn’t stop him from getting into four games, scoring once, adding an assist, and picking up 13 loose balls.
Hailing from Niagara on the Lake, ON, Weier was selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NLL Draft by the Rock after being a part of the Orangeville Jr. A Northmen’s 2019 Minto Cup Canadian Jr. Championship team. Playing his first NLL game wasn’t the only first for Weier last season, he also made his debut wearing the stripes and skating as a linesman in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
“Chris got into a few games when ran into Covid issues and injuries with several players,” explained Dawick. “He played well until he ran into an injury of his own and we are happy to have him back this season. Expectations are high, we want him to get back to where he was before he was injured and continue to grow.”
McKenna played in five regular season games and also dressed for a playoff game in his NLL rookie season. He grabbed four assists and scooped up 14 loose balls in the regular season contest and added a pair of helpers in the playoff appearance. The coaching staff showed just how much confidence they had in the Nova Scotia native by playing him at both ends of the floor.
When the 22-year-old wasn’t burning up the turf with the Rock, he was melting the ice with the York University men’s hockey team.
Drafted in the sixth round of the 2021 NLL Draft, McKenna also won a Minto Cup with the Northmen in 2019.
“We weren’t expecting Jordan to play at all originally as he left the team after training camp to focus on school and hockey,” said Dawick. “He came back into the mix and showed he can do a bit of everything, playing front door and back door. Jordan needs to come into camp and put his nose down and continue to learn. He showed us a lot in his first year and we’re excited for his development to continue.”
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