The team somehow managed to survive and with the history of past, defunct ultimate franchises that is a strong sign. However, they still need to put together a team and needed to find new star players to fill into key roles. As the roster came together some notable signings gave Nighthawks fans hope. Erik Hunter would return after playing in 2013, and joining him a former Australian national player Graeme Barber, a former Canadien national player David Stelck, and a Riptide standout Francisco Mogollon. They would be looking to lead a team with 20 MLU rookies, a majority from the men's club team Blackfish.
It started out rough, the Nighthawks played the two playoff teams from 2015, the Portland Stags and Seattle Rainmakers, in their first five games of the season. In the first two games they averaged an offensive scoring efficiency of 39.8 percent and were outscored 47-22. In those opening blowout losses the team was able to take a lot away from it. Rookie Sascha Lo proved that he could hold the fort and be the team's primary handler allowing Hunter and one year veteran Taylor Nadon to be more explosive on offense. The only problem is that they struggled to get their defense on the field.
At the season's end the defense scoring efficiency only made it up to 20.6 percent, the last in the league. Generating blocks was a problem all season, the team only recorded 96 on the year. The team however still managed to get a victory on the season in front of their home fans.
What will be the team's biggest takeaway from this season is their improvement from beginning to end. While they might not show in the win-loss record, this team is far different than it was at the start of 2016. For a while they were out of the basement of the Power Rankings. This season marks the worst year in franchise history and joins the 2013 Portland Stags as the only two team's with a 1-9 record.
vs. Dogfish: 1-2 PD: -9
vs. Stags: 0-3 PD: -41
vs. Rainmakers: 0-4 PD: -34
Their victory though was one call away from being a devastating defeat. In double overtime the Dogfish received and immediately worked it up the sideline. Andrew Goldstein went on a deep look and was called out of bounds on what would have been the game winning score for San Francisco. As Vancouver quickly worked it back up the field it would be Barber finding Jasper Lu for the 21-20 win. Barber had a fantastic game throwing five assists and completing 22 of his 24 throws.
The Nighthawks looked as if they could ride this momentum and perhaps take one away from Seattle or in San Francisco but this would be the lone game that they broke through.
Team MVP: Taylor Nadon
(17G, 17A, 5B, 222/236 throws, 1.016 TPOP)
Team Star: Graeme Barber & Taylor Nadon (3 weeks each)
Rookie of the Year: Sascha Lo
(3G, 6A, 3B, 220/237 throws, 1.446 TPOP)