BC Junior A Lacrosse League
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BC Boys Impress Again at the NLL Draft
September 18, 2008
The BC Junior "A" Lacrosse League had another strong showing at the NLL draft on September 7th in Boston. 17 of the 76 players drafted had played ball in the BCJALL for a total of 22 percent of draftees. Though the numbers are not an improvement over last year (19 of 84 were BC boys in 2007 for the same total of 22 percent) one stat is impressive - for the first time in draft history the number of players plucked directly from the BC Junior A League (players who don't play in the NCAA) eclipsed that of Ontario's Junior A league. The OLA only had 9 players directly drafted from Junior A, while BC had 10. With the parity and competitiveness we saw in 2008, BC players will only get better and the BCJALL may one day be the number one place to find future NLL superstars.

It didn't take long for a BC boy to hear is name called at the draft either. Former Victoria Shamrock and Stony Brook University star Rhys Duch was grabbed 3rd overall by the San Jose Stealth. Rhys is one year removed from Junior A, and even suited up for the WLA Shamrocks last season. Stealth management is confident he will be in the lineup to start the 2009 season. Three picks later, New Westminster Salmonbellie's transition all-star Curtis Manning was snagged at 6th overall by the Calgary Roughnecks. Though Manning will likely sit out 2009 to play his senior year with the SFU Clan, he will be a huge part of Calgary's transition game for years to come. To close out the first round, former Coquitlam Adanac Tim Campeau was picked at number 11 by the Portland Lumberjax. Campeau, another transition guy, is three years removed from Junior A, and is listed as being picked from the University of Notre Dame. Tim also plays for the Senior "A" Adanacs in the WLA.

Round two is where we started seeing players being picked from the BC Junior league rather than collegiate programs. The 15th overall selection to the Calgary Roughnecks was Victoria's Cayle Ratcliff. The Shamrocks captain had a break out season in 2008, leading his team all the way to the Minto Cup final. He has a great chance at making the Roughnecks team for '09, it's just too bad his older brother was traded from Calgary to Toronto last season. Shortly after, Joe Vetere was plucked at 20th overall, also to the Roughnecks. The ex Burnaby Laker's playmaker with 3 Minto Cup appearances will join some of his teammates who were drafted by Calgary last year; Dane Dobbie, Jamie Lincoln and Pete McFeteridge.

Round three continued the trend of snatching up graduating Junior A players. Coquitlam's Kelly Kilpatrick was taken 27th by the Edmonton Rush. New West's Alex Turner was taken 32nd by San Jose, and Matt Yager of the Shamrocks was picked 34th by Portland. And there must have been a lot of scouts out at the Minto Cup as four more Shamrocks players were picked for a total of six all together. Joel Henry, Reed MacPhail, Myles Kenny and Matt Flindell were all drafted in the fourth and fifth rounds.

Two more graduating junior players were plucked in round six. New West's Adam Foss went to Edmonton and the league's most sportsmanlike player, Sean Robinson of Coquitlam, went to Portland.

Dayne Michaud, Steve McKinlay, and Josh Funk (an American who played '07 with Burnaby) were also drafted in the late rounds from their collegiate clubs.

Everyone involved in lacrosse in BC should be happy with these results. The possibilities are limitless if one quarter of all guys drafted into the NLL are coming out of the BC junior league. This will attract talent from all over Canada and the US to come play on the West Coast, and will make our league more competitive, exciting and popular. It also gives those kids in pee-wee and novice something to look forward to. Playing professional lacrosse is a lot closer than some people may think, and its looking like the BC Junior "A" Lacrosse League is the best place to turn that dream into reality.

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