UNCASVILLE, Conn. (October 27, 2017) – The New England Black Wolves opened training camp Friday, beginning preparations for the 2017-18 season, which starts December 8th, when the defending NLL Champion Georgia Swarm visit Mohegan Sun Arena.
“You spend the offseason prepping for this and doing all the planning and then you see how it works out,” Black Wolves coach Glenn Clark said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how the new guys push the existing guys because everybody is here to win a job. We identified some areas where we need to improve in, and I think we brought in players to help us in those areas. So what that looks like and how that plays out is what we’re going to be watching the first couple of days.”
New England reached the playoffs for the second straight year under Clark after an 8-10 regular season. But when the season ended with a first-round playoff loss at Toronto, improving the defense and transition became top priorities.
Trading goalie Evan Kirk to Saskatchewan for veteran goalie Aaron Bold, defenseman John LaFontaine and the eighth pick in the 2017 NLL Entry Draft – the pick was used to select 6-foot-2 midfielder Anthony Joaquim – helped address those concerns. The Black Wolves also acquired young defenseman Adam Bomberry in a trade with Rochester and signed veteran defenseman David Brock. New England added a number of other athletic free agents, and should also get contributions from a talented class of rookies.
“It’s exciting to come back and know we have some fresh faces in the lineup,” said veteran forward Kevin Crowley, who had a career-best 45 goals last year. “Adding more good guys in the locker room is going to help us out. You can feel the buzz just coming back here.”
Former two-time NLL MVP Shawn Evans, who has led the Black Wolves in points in each of his two seasons with New England, is ready to get started.
“We all want to win and when you are making those changes for the better I think we’re on the right track for the start of this year,” Evans said. “I think everyone is excited to see what this group’s got.”