The questions were plenty about Johnny Powless when the Rochester Knighthawks made him the No. 5 overall pick in the National Lacrosse League’s 2011 entry draft. But 48 goals, 91 points and 2 NLL championships later, the answer is obvious: Powless is the real deal. Making his NLL debut at the age of 18, ‘Pup’ has established himself as one of the game’s most dangerous offensive options. He’s slick, he’s quick and he’s creative, all attributes that are only half of the scoring equation. Because once he makes the space for a shooting lane, he’s a finisher on par with the best. But with Powless, it goes beyond even this. In displaying a mental approach far beyond his years, Powless is paving a path toward greatness.
You know Powless can score goals. Coaches know, opponents know, and he knows. Yet there is nary a word from him about demanding the spotlight in Rochester. He comes in knowing he’s not the sole piece of the puzzle and his work off the ball allows the other Rochester gunners like Cody Jamieson, Craig Point, Mike Accursi and Dan Dawson to get their looks.
That’s the sort of maturity that sets up a path toward NLL stardom, if he’s not yet already there. And don’t think he’s just too young to know better. At Six Nations, he knows he’s the man and clearly displays the ability to shoulder the load as evidenced by his 195 goals and 361 points in 74 regular-season games. And that includes the 104-point season of this past summer, the second time in 3 summers he’s cleared 100 points. In Rochester, he understands his role and if 2 championships in his first 2 years don’t adequately explain the effectiveness of this, nothing will.
The future is bright for the young Powless. He’s a scoring machine with a clear understanding of the game’s machinations. It’s skills like this that put him on ILIndoor’s Top 50 and as those skills mature, there is very little doubt that his debut at No. 44 is just the beginning.
“Sick stick skills and the innate lacrosse sense of someone who’s had a stick in his hands his whole life. He’s already really good, and keep in mind that next year would be his draft year if he hadn’t entered the league early.” – Stephen Stamp
“Watching Powless from the stands can be intoxicating, so imagine what it’s like to defend him. He knows how to avoid the damaging hits, and he’s got the lacrosse IQ that can’t be coached. He just knows what to do, and he does it so very well.” – Bob Chavez
“What can you say about a guy who has two Champion’s Cups and a Mann Cup under his belt at the ripe old age of 20? They say good things happen to good people and Johnny Powless is famous for taking his lacrosse serious on and off the floor. Powless still needs to improve his play without the ball and develop some better defensive abilities when trapped on the floor. When he masters those elements and puts on a few more pounds, he will be a consistent lacrosse star and good to go for at least the next decade.” – Marty O’Neill
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