TORONTO’S DAMON EDWARDS SIGNS 1-YEAR DEAL
Longtime Rock Staying Put
Oakville, ON – Toronto Rock General Manager Jamie Dawick announced today that Rock defender Damon Edwards has agreed to a 1-year contract extension. The signing is pending league approval.
A Rock since 2012, Edwards became an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 1, but has made the choice to return to the spot where he has played for the last nine years and eight seasons (he missed the 2016 season due to injury).
“Damon’s been a mainstay here,” said Dawick. “As he gets older, his health is important and walking away from summer lacrosse a couple of years ago has been a big benefit to him. His health has been great, and it has shown on the floor. He remains an important piece of our team and provides veteran leadership. It would have been weird seeing Damon in another uniform.”
Players don’t get many opportunities to become an unrestricted free agent and throughout the opening days of the NLL’s free agency period, there has been some significant movement. For Edwards, home is where the heart is and he’s happy to be back in Toronto, playing in the city where he grew up playing the game.
“Being a hometown boy has a lot to do with coming back,” said Edwards. “I grew up watching the Rock and to play here for basically my whole career has been a privilege. Ultimately, coming back here was the right decision for me. It gives me the opportunity to contribute to my community in Toronto. The city is a huge reason for me staying.”
During his lacrosse career, Edwards has endured a pair of significant injuries. In his last year of Junior A lacrosse in 2009 he tore the ACL in his right knee, and missed the 2010 NLL season after being drafted by the Rock in the 2009 NLL Draft. The second setback came in 2015 while playing for the Oakville Rock (MSL) when he tore the ACL in his left knee and missed the 2016 NLL season.
Ahead of the 2011 NLL season, Edwards did not make the Rock roster and subsequently moved on to Boston where he played the 2011 season. The Blazers folded prior to the 2012 campaign and he was then selected by Buffalo in the dispersal draft but didn’t crack the Bandits roster. After waiting a short time for the call during 2012 season, he signed with the Rock and the rest is history.
Edwards’ speed and athleticism are still elite. He fits Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer’s style of play perfectly. Sawyer is a huge fan of pushing the ball up the floor and making plays, and that’s something that Edwards does better than most.
“It’s well known that I’ve had a couple injuries,” said Edwards. “I have focused over the last few years on making everything stronger in my knees and legs to avoid those injuries. Taking the summers off from playing lacrosse has contributed to the success I’ve had. I get an extra bit of rest and I can train a bit more.”
Edwards’ career list of accomplishments is still missing one very important thing and there’s nowhere else he’d rather achieve that accomplishment than in his own backyard.
“That was another reason big reason to come back,” explained Edwards. “We have a great chance to win with this team, it’s well put together. I want to win for my hometown and my teammates, I’ve been with some of these guys for a long time. Guys like Rosey and Hellyer, to win with them would mean a lot to me.”
Last week, the NLL announced this year’s NLL Draft will be a virtual event on Tuesday, September 17. Fans can watch on Bleacher Report Live, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at 7:00 p.m. ET.
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