Draft goes according to plan for Timbermen

The Nanaimo Timbermen senior A lacrosse club added talent and depth at all positions, primarily transition and defence, at the WLA draft.

The Nanaimo Timbermen went into the draft with a game plan, and it seemed to work.

The Coastal Windows Timbermen senior A lacrosse club added talent and depth at all positions, primarily transition and defence, at Monday’s Western Lacrosse Association draft in Langley.

Nanaimo’s first choice came in the third round, 16th overall, where they selected local transition player Paul Brebber. The team went on to choose Tom Newton, Glenn Foley, Braden Kmita, Ross Radcliffe, Adam Backular-Evans, Mark Hilker, Bryan Dougan and Marino Best.

T-men general manager Earl Nicholson said he’s satisfied with how the draft went.

“They guys that we had targeted, we only missed on a couple,” he said. “We were looking to add some players to our depth and basically back-end and transition guys and that’s where we drafted.”

Brebber was an easy choice to be the team’s top pick this year, Nicholson said, as the 6-foot-1, 195 pounder had “clearly shown that he can play” at the WLA level as a call-up.

“He can play both front end and back end and he’s a great transition player,” said the GM. “He’s got a real good sense of what’s going on around him and he knows when to run the floor and when not to.”

Brebber was keeping an eye on the draft while doing homework down in Kentucky, where he attends Bellarmine University and plays field lacrosse. He had an idea that he would probably go to one of the Vancouver Island clubs.

“I’m always happy to be playing in Nanaimo,” he said. “I’ve loved it my whole life so I’m definitely happy to come back home.”

Newton, a six-foot, 205 pounder from Saskatoon, played junior in New Westminster but has expressed a willingness to play senior on Vancouver Island.

“He’s got good foot speed, defends real well and doesn’t make mistakes,” Nicholson said. “He’s nice and steady back there.”

Foley, a former captain of the junior A Timbermen, is a 5-foot-11, 195-pound forward from Victoria. He missed most of his final year of junior with a concussion, but looked like the best player at training camp last year before his injury, said Nicholson.

“He’s a good, solid offensive player, and I think he can fit into our mix up front.”

Kmita, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound defender from the junior Shamrocks, played minor lacrosse in Alberta and comes recommended by a coach there, Joel Henry’s father.

Radcliffe, 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, played with the junior B Timbermen where he was a team leader on the defence/transition corps.

“I think he can play in this league … and he’s real excited that we’re going to give him the opportunity here,” Nicholson said. “He could be the sleeper pick of the draft.”

The last four choices by the Timbermen were all Nanaimo junior A graduates. Backular-Evans is a 6-foot-4, 210 pounder from Courtenay who plays a transition game. Hilker, originally from Ontario, is 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and a defensive-minded player. Dougan is 5-foot-11, 190 pounds and the defender from Nanaimo was captain of the junior A T-men last year. Best, another Nanaimoite, is 5-foot-9, 175 pounds and would be asked to play a transition role.

“All the guys that we drafted have got the potential to play A ball, it’s just a matter of if they’re ready just yet,” Nicholson said. “We’ll see in camp.”

LACROSSE TALK … More of the Bulletin’s interview with Brebber will be published in an upcoming issue … The Timbermen didn’t draft any goalies, but they will look to add someone at that position as veteran Matt King may be considering retirement … The senior A club has also identified a preferred candidate to coach the team in 2013 but has to finalize arrangements before it makes an announcement … Nanaimo’s WLA season begins May 19; for season ticket information please click here.