Timbermen beef up with top prospects

The Nanaimo Timbermen are a bigger and better lacrosse team after Tuesday’s junior draft.

The city’s senior A Western Lacrosse Association club added size, strength and skill at the draft in Burnaby.

Nanaimo’s first choice was Carlton Schuss, taken seventh overall, and the T-men went on to choose Sean Nugent, Zack Boychuk, Matt Wray, John Canil, Nolan Maughan, Ryan Forslund, Spencer Skillings, Caldwell Rohrbach, Doug Langlois, Curt Brown and Joe Laleune.

“We got some guys that we had pegged to come here,” said Earl Nicholson, Timbermen general manager. “We got most of the ones we were looking to get.”

The GM said Schuss brings something different to the left side of the floor, where he will complement Lewis Ratcliff, Cayle Ratcliff and Joel Henry.

“We were looking for a fourth lefty,” Nicholson said. “He’s a big, tough kid, plays a hard-nosed style, he can put the ball in the net. He plays with a real edge.”

Schuss, 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, led the Delta Islanders in penalty minutes with 56 in 14 games, while also tallying 21 goals and 32 assists.

He has some National Lacrosse League experience with the Calgary Roughnecks, where he played with Timbermen team captain Scott Ranger.

“He’s a good, strong, tough kid, so that’s definitely going to help us out in Nanaimo,” Ranger said.

Nugent, a Victoria Shamrocks junior player from Duncan, is a tough defender who stands 6-foot-2, 210 pounds.

“We had him up for a couple games last year and he played real well for us,” Nicholson said.

As for Boychuk, he was the No. 1 goalie for the Nanaimo juniors most of last season before being traded at the deadline. The Timbermen were targeting the goalie, who Nicholson said resembles a local lacrosse legend.

“He reminds me a lot of Mac Maude on and off the floor, and that should be enough said.”

Wray, a former Nanaimo junior from Qualicum Beach, is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound transition player who can be a skilled sniper one minute and a fearsome fighter the next. Wray gained Minto Cup experience with the Brampton Excelsiors in 2009 before taking last summer off, but has indicated a desire to play again in 2011.

Canil played with the Shamrocks and Coquitlam Adanacs junior teams last year while Maughan, Forslund, Skillings, Langlois and Brown are all from the Nanaimo program.

The Timbermen are also touting Rohrbach, an American scorer who was recommended by Nanaimo’s Washington Stealth connections.

LACROSSE TALK … Nicholson said the Timbermen had hoped to get local player Colton Clark in the draft, but the sniper was snapped up third overall on Tuesday by the Burnaby Lakers … Before the draft got underway, the Timbermen traded their first- and third-round picks in 2013 to the New Westminster Salmonbellies for the 10th, 17th and 22nd picks in 2011 and a second-round pick in 2012. “We had a gap in our draft between the first round and the fourth round so we wanted to fill that in,” said the GM. “And we had a good indication of guys that wanted to come and play here so it looked like we could fill some holes in our lineup.” … For more lacrosse news, please pick up Thursday’s News Bulletin or visit www.nanaimobulletin.com that day.