Timbermen get bigger, tougher

The Nanaimo Timbermen added a lot of goal scoring ability and a ton of size. Now they’ll wait and see how all this potential transfers into the lacrosse box.

The city’s senior A Western Lacrosse Association club chose 15 players Thursday night over the 10 rounds of the WLA Draft.

“We’re happy with what we managed to do,” said Earl Nicholson, the club’s general manager. “I think we’ve got ourselves bigger and a little nastier in the back end and we’ve added some scorers.”

Nanaimo didn’t wait long to make an impact on the draft floor, trading up in the first round to take Victoria’s Brody Eastwood fifth overall. The T-men wanted to get their first choice of Vancouver Island talent and coveted Eastwood, who finished sixth in goal scoring (42) in the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League despite playing just 14 games.

“He’s a good, solid all-around offensive player,” Nicholson said. “He sees the floor real well, he can score some goals, he really distributes the ball.”

The GM said Eastwood, 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, also “fits in” with Nanaimo’s other Victoria players, an important factor considering the necessary commuting to practices and games.

To move up to fifth, the T-men traded the seventh and eighth picks to the New Westminster Salmonbellies and received the 12th pick and future considerations.

Nanaimo then added a ton of size in the second round of the draft, choosing transition player Tyson Roe from the junior T-men, 6-foot-10, 245 pounds; defender Brandan Smith from the junior Shamrocks, 6-foot-2, 230 pounds; and transition player Conrad Chapman from the junior ’Rocks, 6-foot-7, 220 pounds.

In the third round, the T-men chose forward Reegan Comeault of the Langley Junior Thunder.

Nanaimo went on to choose Ben Snider, Kurtis Green, David Diruscio, Devon Casey, Kody Te Kanawa, Dylan Long, Jamie Sorenson and Ryan Landels, then snapped up two junior T-men in the late rounds, Ryan Hanna and Macgregor Johnston.

Thursday’s draft was the first for the T-men under coach Kaleb Toth, and his input was valuable at the draft table, Nicholson said. Generally, the Timbermen tried to find a balance between addressing needs and taking the best players available.

“We wanted to get bigger but at the same time, we wanted some athletic ability to go with the size because of the style of game that Kaleb [coaches]. It’s up-tempo so we’ve got to have some guys that can move.”

Nicholson said the team is happy with its roster of back end and transition players, but will try to add another scorer or two through trades or signings over the coming months.

The WLA season begins in May.

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