CALGARY, AB – With the need on the left side of the offence, the Calgary Roughnecks decided to make a move prior to the NLL Draft.
The team agreed to send a draft pick to the Saskatchewan Rush for Riley Loewen.
A surprise to the three-year veteran.
“It came kind of out of the blue and I wasn’t expecting it,” admitted Loewen. “It was tough to leave Saskatoon with all of those guys and winning two championships.”
Despite leaving a good team, he’s coming into a better situation for himself.
“But I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for me to get more playing time and I’m excited about the move,” Loewen noted.
With injuries hampering the Roughnecks at times on the left side in 2016, acquiring another left-hander to help produce was paramount for Calgary.
A quality scorer, Loewen has 84 points (27g, 57a) in 41 career games, but he knows that his main role will be to create space for the other players on the floor.
“I work to get my teammates open, doing the dirty work in the middle, and set picks,” explained Loewen. “I think that’s what I’m going to try and do in Calgary, getting Dobbie and Shattler open.”
This role is something Loewen did with great success in Saskatoon, opening up lanes for Mark Matthews and Zack Greer.
A similar role and his experience playing alongside quite a few Calgary players should ease his transition into the Roughnecks line-up.
“I’ve played with a bunch of the guys on the Roughnecks like Dickson and Wesley and Dobbie and Frankie in net,” said Loewen. “I’m looking forward to more playing time and helping the Roughnecks win.”
Even the coaching staff is familiar.
“Curt has coached me before, so he knows how I play and he said I would be a good fit on the team,” Loewen said.
New defensive coach Rob Williams is Loewen’s coach during the summer when he plays with the Maple Ridge Burrards.
Less than a month ago, Williams, Loewen, and the Burrards won the WLA Championship and made an appearance in the 2016 Mann Cup.
Loewen was very excited to have Williams join the Roughnecks staff.
“It’s awesome,” Loewen said of William’s hiring. “He actually texted me when he was announced as the coach. That’s definitely another familiar face, which makes the transition a lot easier. I’m excited about that.”
Loewen will join his new team at training camp in late November, but Roughnecks fans will have to wait until Jan. 6 to see him wearing his fresh new jersey at the Rough House.
And he can’t wait to see the fans.
“Fans there are unbelievable every game,” Loewen said of playing at the Rough House. “Every game I’ve played in the Saddledome has been unbelievable.”
“I’m excited to get there; they are a crazy bunch.”