Connor Fields has been known as one of the most talented lacrosse players in recent history, but even with all the talent, he hasn’t been able to showcase those skills in the NLL. Whether it’s been injuries or other talented players in front of him, there has always been something that has kept Fields from being one of the league’s best. Now that Fields has a fresh start in Rochester, his scoring prowess has been a big part in the Knighthawks surprising 4-0 start.
Fields was drafted 10th overall by the San Diego Seals in 2018 and was expected to be a huge part of the franchise. During his rookie season, he only played in two games due to a knee injury, scoring 4 total points. The 2019-20 season showed some promise, with Fields scoring 44 points in 12 games, but unfortunately COVID-19 ended the NLL season.
Fields was then traded to the Buffalo Bandits prior to the 2021-22 season. Adding Fields to a loaded Bandits offensive unit definitely helped him find his scoring touch. He finished 3rd on the team in scoring with 67 points and it looked like he had finally found a home in Buffalo. Even with the success in his one season in Buffalo, it was a surprise to some to see him left unprotected by the Bandits for the Vegas expansion draft.
“I think anyone who has been left unprotected would be lying to you if they said it didn’t affect them at all,” Fields said in an inside lacrosse interview. “This year, I’m definitely playing with even more of a chip on my shoulder. I’m not the one to say if Buffalo made the right or wrong decision — they made the decision which they felt was best for their team, and I respect that”
Vegas selected Connor Fields during the expansion draft and immediately traded him to Rochester. Now trading Fields seemed like it was a move to gather assets for Vegas, but it was shocking to see that they swapped the first and second pick in the draft and Vegas also received Charlie Bertrand. It seemed like Fields would have been a great fit in Vegas, but the Desert Dogs had other plans. Even if Rochester’s number one offseason priority was to get Fields, it just continued the underlying narrative that maybe Fields wasnt living up to his top 10 pick potential.
Rochester finished with the worst record in the league last year, and even with its offseason additions, including Fields, Rochester wasn’t a team that was projected to make the playoffs this year. But following a 3-0 start, including a win over Toronto, Fields has been proving the doubters wrong so far early in the season. Fields currently has 25 points on the season in only 3 games and is on pace to shatter his previous career high. While it’s highly unlikely he keeps scoring 8 points per game, he’s proven to everyone that he is an elite scorer in this league. Not only is he putting up numbers, but he is turning around a Rochester team that won only 6 games in its two seasons since rejoining the league as an expansion team in 2019.
“Coming here, I just wanted to do anything I could to help the team win,” Fields said. “I believe you’re only as good as the opportunity you’re given. Being here in Rochester, they’re showing me that they have confidence in me. That helps me go out there and play lacrosse knowing I have their trust.”
Connor Fields has definitely earned the trust of the Knighthawks, and if he continues on his current pace, he could lead his team to the playoffs and be in the running for MVP.