Timbermen take steps forward on draft day

Nanaimo’s senior A lacrosse club made 13 selections at Thursday’s WLA Draft.

The Timbermen feel like they drafted players who can help the team take that next step.

Nanaimo’s senior A lacrosse club had a lot of selections in Thursday’s Western Lacrosse Association Draft and made the most of those choices. The T-men had the No. 2 and No. 3 selections and drafted Nate Wade out of Victoria and Chase Fraser from Delta, then picked Jon Phillips, also from Delta, at No. 9. Nanaimo chose 13 players in all.

Chris Bowman, Timbermen president, said Wade, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound transition player, is a “game-changer” and “the toughest kid in the draft; the hardest player to play against.”

Fraser is a right-handed offensive player who scored 30-plus goals the last three seasons including 42 last year and another 18 in the playoffs. The 6-foot-2, 200 pounder can also be a dominant force in the faceoff circle.

“He’s going to give us way more possessions than we had. Some games [last season] we won five faceoffs out of 20,” Bowman said.

Phillips, a left-handed offensive player, was the leading playoff scorer in the BCJALL last season with 32 points and had 230 points in 71 games over the course of his junior career.

Nanaimo’s next pick was transition player Adam Jay of Victoria at No. 16; the Timbermen had expected the former NLL pick to be long gone by then.

“I was surprised at some of the kids we were able to get and when we were able to get them,” Bowman said.

Also on draft day, the Timbermen chose four Nanaimo juniors: Ryan Lewis, Mclean Chicquen, Ryan Taylor and Darrin Wilson. The T-men also chose Danny Spagnuolo, Aaron Madaisky, Brock Thompson Marshall, Andy Campbell and Steve Ackinclose.

Bowman expects five to seven of the draft picks to be able to make the roster this year, but mentioned it will be a hard training camp, with so many quality athletes that there will be good players who don’t make the team.

Those decisions will be made in the spring – for now, the club is satisfied that it was able to position itself well coming out of draft day.

“The goal every year is to be better,” Bowman said. “If we can get rid of those six one-goal losses – and I think this group will allow us to do that – then all of a sudden it’s a whole different world, with playoffs being the goal this year.”

sports@nanaimobulletin.com