“A little bit frustrating.”
That was Calgary native Holden Cattoni’s assessment of his rookie season with the Roughnecks.
After being selected fifth overall in the 2016 NLL Draft, the expectations placed upon the highly touted lefty were sky-high.
The hometown kid performed well in his first season with Calgary, scoring seven goals and 18 assists, while playing in 15 games.
Cattoni wasn’t satisfied with that performance.
But he understands it wasn’t his job to provide a majority of the offence for the Riggers.
“I would have loved to contribute a little bit more offensively and score a bit more, but that’s not really my role on the team,” said Cattoni. “I think I embrace my role on the team, as coach called me, an energy guy. A guy that sets up the other guys that are a bit more experienced on the team. I think that’s good. I think it builds character and hopefully it gives me a little bit of respect and then I can build on my role next year.”
With talented veterans Jeff Shattler and Dane Dobbie entrenched on the left side of the offence and the emergence of Riley Loewen, Cattoni was the fourth lefty off of the bench for the Riggers, which limited his opportunities throughout the year.
Blessed with a cannon of a shot, Cattoni took 75 shots in his rookie season but converted on just .093% of those shots. Given that the league average is .165% and most players don’t have the same kind of natural power on their shot, it’s safe to say that there’s some goal-scoring upside heading into next season given an improvement closer to league average.
With some experience under his belt, Cattoni is hoping he’ll have an expanded role heading into the 2018 campaign.
“ is a transition year,” Cattoni said of moving up to the NLL. “Next year I’ll take a step towards playing my own game and playing a bigger role. More expectations and hopefully I can live up to the role.”
With the Roughnecks missing out on the NLL Playoffs , Cattoni is heading out East with hopes of more playing time and a chance to make a run at a championship.
For the fourth straight year, the young lefty will be playing summer lacrosse with the Peterborough Lakers and will work with former Roughneck and now Lakers coach Tracey Kelusky. He’ll also get the opportunity to keep playing with current teammate and NLL goal-scoring leader, Curtis Dickson.
Cattoni will have a larger, more scoring-focused role with the Lakers and he’s hoping to re-ignite his offensive game.
“I’d like to get my scoring touch back a bit, get a bit more confidence shooting the ball,” admitted Cattoni. “I play a bit more of a shooting, goal-scoring role there than I do here, so it’ll be nice to get back to that and then carry that on into next season and score some more goals.”