Maple Ridge Burrards players once again figured prominently in the BC Junior A Lacrosse League draft, which was held over the weekend at the Langley Events Centre.
Goaltender Braeden Washingon of Maple Ridge was selected second overall by the Langley Thunder, and then national junior team player Drew Andre went seventh to the New Westminster Salmonbellies. With the final pick of the first round, Trevor Funk was taken eighth by the Coquitlam Adanacs.
“The scouting staff really liked what we seen from Washington this summer and on film ,we also liked what he had to say and how he handled himself in our pre-draft discussions,” said Thunder team spokesman Rob Buchan. “We felt adding another quality goaltender to our roster was our biggest need, and he was our guy from the start.
“If he plays junior A this summer it will depend on how quickly he adjusts to the bigger nets and how well he performs in our evaluations and throughout the pre-season. We have a handful of goalies in our system, and each one of them will battle for playing time and an eventual roster spot.
As teams filled their needs, Andre slipped to the Salmonbellies.
“Drew Andre is a very good lacrosse player and New West was lucky get him at seven,” said Buchan.
The many Burrards in their draft lists, and wound up with six Ridge Meadows players.
Rob Buchan said they don’t target Burrards, but there were many on the Thunder draft list because of the midget team’s success last season.
“We rank every player by position, and select based on our team’s current needs and who is available when we are selecting,” said Buchan. “All six of the Ridge kids we drafted were part of the Team BC program last season and also part of the Ridge team that challenged for the midget A provincial championship this summer. We drafted them because in our eyes they were the best available lacrosse players at the time.”
Maple Ridge has long been recognized as a hot spot for Junior A recruiters, as a city that has a top-level minor lacrosse association developing talented players, but no Junior A team of its own.
There were 10 Burrards players chosen out of 48 taken through the six rounds of the draft.
The other seven taken outside the first round were:
11th Reece Hansford, Langley
12th Isaac Ngyou, Langley
23rd Drew Kask, Langley
26th Kyle Brandon, Port Coquitlam
29th Kaidin Sheehan-Davies, Langley
37th Luke Evans, Langley
42nd Lochlan Munro, Port Coquitlam