Cory Conway

Cory Conway

Setup man Cory Conway comes home to Shamrocks

Cory Conway traded to the Victoria Shamrocks from the Nanaimo Timbermen

Cory Conway is coming home to the Victoria Shamrocks.

The pride of Brentwood Bay helped the junior A Shamrocks to the Minto Cup final in 2008 and was drafted in the first round by the Coquitlam Adanacs in 2009 before the senior Shamrocks could grab him.

Since then, Shamrocks general manager Chris Welch has watched Conway graduate from being a star in the B.C. Junior Lacrosse League to a star in the Western Lacrosse Association.

“Over the years we’ve seen first hand, and felt the pain playing against him, of a what a great player Conway truly is,” Welch said. “It’s going to be a lot nicer having him on the team than having him play against us.”

Conway was acquired in a trade with the Nanaimo Timbermen on Wednesday, as the Timbermen continues its rebuild.

In exchange for Conway, the Shamrocks sent its first- and third-round picks in the 2015 WLA Draft. Nanaimo also gets Victoria’s second round draft choice in the 2015 WLA Draft, as part of the Scott Ranger deal in February.

The Shamrocks have now procured two of the Timbermen’s key strikers on offence, having acquired Ranger, the reigning WLA scoring leader and former captain of the Timbermen.

“We think this move fits two big goals. One is to compete for a Mann Cup and get another banner or two in Bear Mountain Arena. It also works towards the other goal of expanding the local core, as many South Island guys as we can who can compete at this level.”

Conway’s inclusion on the Shamrocks means the group of elite players produced in Victoria who are playing elsewhere just got smaller. Prominent on that list are Lewis Ratcliff (Langley Thunder), Cayle Ratcliff (Timbermen), Ryan Ward (National Lacrosse League) and Rhys Duch (NLL, Major field Lacrosse League) and blue chip prospect Cody Bremner (Timbermen).

“Conway is one of the top playmakers in our game. He’s led the league in assists the last few years and is an elite player, no question,” Welch said.

Conway is in his sixth season in the NLL with the Edmonton Rush, where he plays with fellow Shamrocks attacker Corey Small.

“(Conway) sees things nobody else can see, his cross floor passes are as good as anyone’s in the sport,” Welch said.

“Small and Conway are roommates on the Rush and they have chemistry on the floor. Conway feeds the opposite side better than anyone in the game and Small is on that opposite side, I look forward to seeing the chemistry develop here.”

“It’s tough to put into words. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to play for the team I grew up cheering for. It’s a dream come true,” Conway said in the team’s release.

“I’m excited to wear the green and white again, plus this team is scary deep. I think this group has the potential to accomplish something truly special.”

The Shamrocks season opens with a tailgate party at Bear Mountain Arena prior to the May 17 game at 7:45 p.m.

sports@vicnews.com