Captain Calgary Brings His Talents Back to the PLL
By Nick Zoroya
Apr 20, 2023
As the 2023 season approaches, Chrome LC will welcome a familiar face back into the fold. Jesse King, who hasn’t suited up in the PLL since the 2020 bubble season returns for an action packed season.
King is thriving in the NLL this season. The Calgary Roughnecks captain, fondly referred to as Captain Calgary, is one of the top point producers in the league. Back in the 2020 bubble season he scored eight goals in four games, so why haven’t we seen more Jesse King in the PLL? The answer isn't a simple one, with many factors contributing to his playing decisions.
Perhaps the biggest factor for his return is his relationship with Chrome LC Head Coach Tim Soudan.
“When I got drafted to the Rattlers (2015) the biggest thing I knew was that there were guys with box experience and they talked about Soudan with high regard. When I finally met him I felt like I knew him already. He treats you with so much respect and humbleness, he played for such a long time at a high level, he understands what we need and how to deliver it to us… Even when I didn’t play after the bubble he always texted me and encouraged me to come back, he wouldn’t release me. I told him I’m not playing for anyone but you if I come back.”
The decision to return to the PLL may have been aided by a healthy player-coach relationship, but it also meant saying goodbye to his teammates in the Canadian summer league, including one special teammate, his brother Marshal.
So why leave the comfort of being an elite level box lacrosse player and being teammates with your brother to play field lacrosse?
“As I get older I don't want to have any regrets and I want to make sure I give the PLL my best shot. I take this as an opportunity to learn from the field game, to be a more well rounded lacrosse player” said King.
An experienced field player having scored 208 points for Ohio State (2012-2015) and playing for the Canadian national team in 2014, it's refreshing to hear that he still thinks he has something to prove.
It also didn’t hurt that King would be reunited with fellow former Rattler teammate Jordan MacIntosh. The two played 8 games together in 2016, also being teammates on the Chrome during the 2020 PLL Championship Series.
The constant drive to improve himself isn't the only reason he wanted to return, King also credits his Calgary teammate and 2020 bubble roommate Eli Salama for constantly reminding him how much fun he’s having in the PLL.
While it’s been a few years since we’ve seen King on an open field, I asked him what we can expect from his this summer:
“I think that with my vision and the ability to play without as many eyes on me (given the stars at attack), I think that I can be lethal by playing smart, leaking behind, catching the ball inside off a quick dodge, we have so many downhill dodgers that I can be less athletic and more crafty.”
His experience and craftiness will be a welcome addition to what has become a young offensive group. When asked who he was most excited to play with this upcoming season, King was relentless in his praise for Logan Wisnauskas. “I see myself working off of Logan, he's a big lefty attackman, being a lefty myself I’m hoping to supplement him,”. Wisnauskas was one of the league's top scorers in his rookie season (35 points) and adding King will provide him with yet another option to feed the ball.
The Chrome LC is built on culture, a family first attitude with a roster that has been crafted to make sure that the pieces fit perfectly together. Welcoming King back to the roster was a conscious decision for Head Coach and General Manager Tim Soudan, a decision he wouldn’t make unless he thought Jesse would contribute to that culture. An experienced leader and point scorer, with several ties to the locker room, there's little doubt that King fits the Chrome LC.
Welcome back Captain Calgary.