Sports

Shamrocks stick with locals at WLA draft

Rhys Jones, flattened here against the Coquitlam Adanacs last season, could be joined by his younger brother Dylan on the Shamrocks WLA team. Dylan was one of five Jr. Shamrocks taken by Victoria at Tuesday
Rhys Jones, flattened here against the Coquitlam Adanacs last season, could be joined by his younger brother Dylan on the Shamrocks WLA team. Dylan was one of five Jr. Shamrocks taken by Victoria at Tuesday's WLA draft.
— image credit: Sharon Tiffin/News staff

Rugged defender Justin Veuger topped the list of seven players taken by the Victoria Shamrocks in the 2011 Western Lacrosse Association draft on Tuesday.

The Shamrocks picked five from the junior-A Shamrocks: Veuger (13th), Graeme Scott (26th), Spencer Skillings, Sam Kowalyk and Dylan Jones. Skillings ended his junior career as the captain of the Nanaimo Timbermen. Victoria also chose two players from the Westshore Bears junior-B club, goalie Dan

Ormiston and Cody Boon.

“The first place we always look is at the pool of local players,” Shamrocks general manager Chris Welch said.

Veuger went in the second round despite missing all of the 2010 junior-A season with an injury. He led the Jr. Shamrocks in 2008 with 104 penalty minutes (third in the league) and was part of the defensive core with current Shamrock Rhys Jones that led the ’Rocks to the Minto Cup final.

“Veuger was one of the guys we thought is ready to jump into the WLA, even after a year off. He’s a physical specimen, big strong, tough, athletic, we think he’s ready to battle in the WLA, that was one of the reasons we took him.”

Scott, also a defender, fits a similar profile to Veuger, having missed much of the 2010 season to a knee injury.

“Scott was a force on the Jr. ’Rocks backline -- many felt he was the best defender -- a big loss in the playoffs,” Welch said, adding he thinks Scott has the tools to come in as early as this year.

The Shamrocks didn’t have a first round pick. Pro defender Matt Beers of the Washington Stealth (NLL), who played junior with the Coquiltam Adanacs, went first overall to the Burnaby Lakers.

All seven Shamrocks picks are from Victoria. The top Victoria product to go was Sean Nugent to the Nanaimo Timbermen, 10th overall (second round).

Choosing local is the nature of the draft, Welch said.

“Nugent’s a guy we would have liked, we wish him all the best in Nanaimo.

“For all intents and purposes, many players are untouchable for us because they aren’t going to play for us. Most mainland players are committed to work or school over there.

“We’re not going to draft that young man and put him on our holdout list. So we draft from the smaller end of the pool, but it takes nothing away from our draft picks.”

Defencemen Sam Kowalyk and Dylan Jones each have a chance to join their elder brothers, Kory Kowalyk and Rhys Jones, on the Shamrocks. The younger Kowalyk is currently injured so won’t make the jump this season, Welch said.

“The Kowalyk name is deeply associated with the Shamrocks, (Sam) will get the time he needs to recover and get a chance to make the team later.”

Welch said his Westshore picks, Boon and Ormiston, are two junior-B guys who could have played at the junior-A level but didn’t.

Westhore's Nick Graham was also drafted, going to the Maple Ridge Burrards in the seventh round.

The WLA season starts in May.

WESTERN LACROSSE ASSOCIATION 2011 DRAFT RESULTS

Round 1

# WLA Team Player Junior Team

1 Burnaby Matt Beers Coquitlam

2 Langley Brodie MacDonald Coquitlam

3 Burnaby Colton Clark New West

4 Maple Ridge Chris Seidel Coquitlam

5 Coquitlam Robbie Campbell Coquitlam

6 Burnaby Scott Jones Delta

7 Nanaimo Carlton Schuss Delta

Round 2

# WLA Team Player Junior Team

1 Maple Ridge Riley Loewen Coquitlam

2 Langley Jarrett Toll New West

3 Nanaimo Sean Nugent Victoria

4 Maple Ridge Garrett McIntosh Coquitlam

5 Coquitlam Trevor Evans Port Coquitlam

6 Victoria Justin Veuger Victoria

7 New West. Eric Lewthwaite New West

Round 3

# WLA Team Player Junior Team

1 Burnaby Dan Lewis Coquitlam

2 Langley Nikolas Bilic Coquitlam

3 Nanaimo Zack Boychuk Delta

4 Langley Robert Danilkiewicz New West

5 Coquitlam Tyler Gohringer Delta

6 New West. Matt Laustrup Delta

7 New West. Scott Rouse New West

Round 4

# WLA Team Player Junior Team

1 Nanaimo Matt Wray Nanaimo

2 Langley Darcy Cummings Port Coquitlam

3 Nanaimo John Canil Victoria

4 Maple Ridge Garrett Stickler Coquitlam

5 Coquitlam Jesse Rougeau Port Coquitlam

6 Victoria Graeme Scott Victoria

7 Nanaimo Nolan Maughan Nanaimo

Round 5

# WLA Team Player Junior Team

1 New West. Jay Card New West

2 Langley Simon Giourmetakis Coquitlam

3 Nanaimo Ryan Forslund Nanaimo

4 Maple Ridge Nathan Clare Delta

5 Coquitlam Brent Laurita Burnaby

6 Victoria Sam Kowalyk Victoria

7 New West. Mike Lowe Port Coquitlam

Round 6

# WLA Team Player Junior Team

1 Burnaby Jon Thomson Coquitlam

2 Langley Nickolas Benevoli Burnaby

3 Nanaimo Ross Dougan Burnaby

4 Maple Ridge Richard Cambrey Port Coquitlam

5 Coquitlam Kevin Chelczynski Coquitlam

6 Victoria Spencer Skillings Nanaimo

7 New Westminster Ryan MacKay New West

Round 7

# WLA Team Player Junior Team

1 Burnaby Andrew Polinghorne New West

2 Langley Curtis MacIntosh Kamloops

3 Nanaimo Cadwell Rohrbach Langley

4 Maple Ridge Nick Graham Westshore

5 Coquitlam Graham Chandler Langley

6 Victoria Dylan Jones Victoria

7 New West. James Dunbar Port Coquitlam

Round 8

# WLA Team Player   Junior Team

1 Burnaby Brandon Gains Delta

2 Langley Chase Porter Langley

3 Nanaimo Jordan Jarvis Burnaby

4 Maple Ridge Matt Hardman Port Coquitlam

5 Coquitlam Wayne Smythes Coquitlam

6 Victoria Cody Boon Westshore

7 New West. Scott Sproule New West

Round 9

# WLA Team Player Junior Team

1 Langley Curtis Sim Port Coquitlam

2 Nanaimo Doug Langlois Nanaimo

3 Coquitlam Keegan Scharnberg Port Coquitlam

4 Victoria Dan Ormiston Westshore

Round 10

# WLA Team Player Junior Team

1 Langley Braidy Webb Vernon

2 Nanaimo Curtis Brown Nanaimo

3 Coquitlam Brandon Bordignon Port Coquitlam

Round 11

# WLA Team Player Junior Team

1 Langley Kyle Kari Burnaby

2 Nanaimo Joe Laleune Port Coquitlam

3 Coquitlam Keifer Baker North Van

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