Thursday, Feb. 11 was a busy night for the Western Lacrosse Association (WLA).
The Senior A men’s lacrosse league unveiled their newly launched website, hinted at an upcoming schedule release for a potential 2021 season and held their annual Graduating Junior player draft from the Langley Events Centre (LEC).
WLA Commissioner Paul Dal Monte announced that a schedule will be released by the end of the month with the hope of gaining clearance to return to play at some point this summer from the Provincial Health Authority.
And with the possibility of a return to action for 2021, the seven teams of the WLA plotted their teams’ respective futures via the draft, which was held virtually at the LEC.
Three teams opted to exercise their territorial protection rights with Coquitlam selecting Jalen Chaster, New Westminster taking Will Malcom and Maple Ridge choosing Dylan McIntosh. All three players spoke via Zoom at the draft and were thrilled with the opportunity to spend their summers playing lacrosse in their hometowns.
“Beyond happy. I grew up in Coquitlam and it is a great organization. I am happy to be moving forward with the Adanacs,” Chaster said.
For Malcom, he joins older brother Tony on the Salmonbellies and this will be the first time they have ever been teammates.
“I’m just super excited to stay with the team I have played my entire life with,” he said of continuing to hone his skills at the fabled Queen’s Park Arena.
Those sentiments were echoed by McIntosh.
“Beyond pumped. Ever since I picked up a lacrosse stick, I have been excited to play at Cam Neely Arena,” he said.
The remaining four teams received compensatory picks. Langley chose Thomas Vaesen, Burnaby selected Austin Madronic, Nanaimo picked Will Johansen, and Victoria used their pick on Nick Scott.
With the territorial protection/compensatory picks out of the way, the Coquitlam Adanacs chose Thomas Semple first overall while Nate Faccin was selected second by the Maple Ridge Burrards. The pair were teammates on the 2019 BC Junior A Lacrosse League champion Coquitlam Junior Adanacs.
The rest of the first round featured Langley Junior Thunder product Connor Watson at third overall to the Burnaby Lakers while the Nanaimo Timbermen used picks four and five on Colton Lidstone and Caleb Keuber. Both played their Junior lacrosse on the Island with Lidstone a part of the Nanaimo Junior Timbermen and Keuber with the Victoria Junior Shamrocks.
Nanaimo was scheduled to pick third but swapped the pick to Burnaby in exchange for the playing rights to Madronic. The Lakers received the third overall pick and first and second round picks in 2022 as well as the playing rights to Callum Crawford.
The Langley Thunder used the sixth overall pick to grab Caleb Pearson, who played for the Junior Thunder. The first round wrapped up with the Victoria Shamrocks selecting Max Wilson (Junior Shamrocks).
For full draft results, visit www.wlalacrosse.com.