Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/20/14
From Press Release
The Black Wolves will be anchored by a core of returning veterans, and bolstered by a group of newcomers that includes five rookies, four veterans acquired through trade and three free agent signings.
“A lot of work has gone into the acquisition and selection of players which make up this team, by a lot of people within our organization,” Black Wolves coach Blane Harrison said. “We believe at this point in time we have a roster that can compete for the Champions Cup.”
Among the returning veterans, former No. 1 draft pick Kevin Crowley (Fusion Lacrosse co-founder) will look to build on last year’s career-high 75 points. The 6-foot-4 forward has 103 goals and 218 points in 50 NLL games. Other key returning veterans will include Mike Manley – the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year in the outdoor Major Lacrosse League – and defender Joel White, who had a career-high 17 forced turnovers in 2014.
Another key veteran is defenseman Brett Manney, a Holy Ghost Prep and Delaware graduate who also is Director of Showcase Lacrosse for NXTsports. Manney is the lone Philly native on the roster.
Two veterans acquired by trade, Craig England and Mike McNamara, will also solidify the defense. Tye Belanger, will provide depth at the goalie spot while Jamie Lincoln plays forward and transition.
Through free agency, the Black Wolves also acquired forward Brett Bucktooth, who had 92 goals and 223 points in 88 games with Buffalo and Vancouver. He helped the Bandits win a championship in 2008.
Earning spots on the team out of free agent training camp were Norwalk native Brent Adams, a former star forward at Fairfield University, and Bill O’Brien, who played varsity football at Sacred Heart.
In a measure of New England’s success at the 2014 NLL Entry Draft, rookies Mark Cockerton, Quinn Powless, Josh Johnson, Matt Crough and Sheldon Burns all made the roster. Last year, none of the rookies drafted by the franchise made the team.
The Black Wolves open the season January 2nd, hosting the Buffalo Bandits at 7 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena.