Boston Cannons defenseman Jack Kielty

‘He is the Cannons’: Jack Kielty’s season-ending injury was gut punch for Boston

By Sarah Griffin | May 31, 2024

The Cannons will be without their stalwart defenseman and co-captain for the entire 2024 season after Jack Kielty suffered a ruptured Achilles during training camp.

Boston bolstered its defense with a pair of key offseason additions, but head coach and general manager Brian Holman didn't sugarcoat the magnitude of losing Kielty.

“You don’t replace Jack Kielty," Holman said Thursday in a news conference. "He is the Cannons.”

Kielty is both the leader of Boston's close defense and the heart and soul of the team. The 26-year-old has spent his entire professional career with the Cannons, and his impact on the field is obvious. He’s consistently shut out some of the top attackmen in the league and does it all with a sort of quiet grace about him. 

Off the field, Kielty doesn’t need to be the loudest guy in the room to be a leader. When he speaks, everybody listens. There’s a reason he was voted as one of the captains of this squad last year in just his third pro season. 

While his impact on and off the field cannot be replicated, Holman mentioned how especially lucky the Cannons are to have picked up veteran defensemen Garrett Epple and Bryce Young in the offseason.

Epple was a first-team All-Pro in four of his five seasons with the Redwoods and was the Dave Pietramala Defensive Player of the Year in 2023. Young, a Whipsnake for the last five seasons, was tied for seventh among defensemen in caused turnovers (10) a year ago. 

Holman said the biggest thing he’s looking for in the wake of Kielty’s injury is for guys to step up as leaders, not try to duplicate what Kielty does on the field. 

Though this was an upsetting blow, every member of the Cannons knows Kielty will overcome his setback.

“If I know Jack like these guys do, he’ll be back and better than ever,” Holman said. 

After having a couple of days to process the news of his injury, Kielty’s positivity in his recovery hadn't wavered, according to his coach.

“He texted me right before this," Holman said, "and his message to me just was, ‘Now we’re on the road to get better.’”

Simple as that. 

A cornerstone of the Cannons organization, Kielty joined his team for practice on Friday, staying as involved as he could with a walking boot on. Though he won’t take the field for Saturday's season opener against the New York Atlas, he continues to do everything he can for his team -- the true embodiment of Cannons culture.