Shamrocks lock-up young guns


May 13, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Shamrocks are pleased to announce the team has signed Jesse King, Brandon Bull and Chris Wardle, three selections from the 2014 Western Lacrosse Association Draft, as well as Bradley Kri, a talented young defenceman from the Vancouver Stealth.

King, who bursted onto the scene with the Shamrocks during a post-season call-up last year, joins the senior team following an impressive junior career. He and Bull both come to Victoria after completing their college seasons in the NCAA. Kri and Wardle join the Shamrocks after cutting their teeth in professional lacrosse in Vancouver. Wardle was also the team’s third round pick out of the Junior Shamrocks, while Kri played five seasons of junior lacrosse in Ontario where he won a pair of championships.

“It has been long time since the Shamrocks have been fortunate enough to add so many high quality first-year guys,” said Shamrocks General Manager & Vice President Chris Welch. “We are extremely excited to add these young men to our group.”

Jesse King was selected by the Shamrocks with the club’s first round pick in the 2014 WLA Draft. The Victoria native returns home after competing his third season with the Ohio State Buckeyes.

In 2014, King led the Buckeyes with 29 goals while assisting on 22 others for 51 points in 13 games. The six-foot-three forward was named a 2014 Tewaaraton Award nominee, given to the top player in college lacrosse each season. He has earned All-ECAC honors each of the past two years, in addition to being named an Honorable Mention All-American in 2013.

As a junior team call-up in 2013, King made a strong impression with the Shamrocks during the playoffs. After playing in 15 games with the Junior Shamrocks, where he picked up 111 points (34 goals, 77 assists), King took the floor in seven games with the senior club. The attacker potted eight goals and nine assists for 17 points as he helped the team to the WLA crown. King finished his junior career with 38 games played, 64 goals and 127 assists for 191 points while being named to the 2nd All-Star Team in the BC Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse League in 2013.

Earlier this month, King was named to Team Canada’s roster for the World Field Lacrosse Championship. The competition will take place in Denver, July 10-19.

Brandon Bull, a junior with the Canisius College Golden Griffins, is set to make his Shamrocks debut this summer after being chosen in the third round of this year’s draft. The Langley, BC native registered 11 points (10 goals, one assist) in 2014 while winning 44-of-94 face-offs.

Bull comes to Victoria after three years with the Langley Junior Thunder where he had 82 goals and 79 assists for 161 points in 56 games. In 17 games in 2013, Bull connected for 27 goals and assisted on 20 others for 47 points. Bull also played in 13 post-season games where he had 25 points (12 goals and 13 assists). Last year, Bull won the Keith McEachren Trophy as the Most Sportsmanlike Player in the BC Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse League.

Bradley Kri, an Acton, Ontario native, heads west for his first WLA season after competing for the NLL’s Vancouver Stealth. Kri comes to the Shamrocks following five years of junior lacrosse in Ontario, where he racked up 23 goals and 33 assists for 56 points in 93 career games between the Halton Hills Bulldogs and Orangeville Northmen. The six-foot-three defender played in 2014 with the Northmen where he complied his best season in junior. In 17 games, Kri netted eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points. While with Orangeville in 2012, Kri won the Minto Cup as Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse champions. He was also with Halton Hill in 2010 when they took home the Founders Cup as Junior ‘B’ Lacrosse champions.

Chris Wardle, a Victoria product, prepares to make the jump from the Junior Shamrocks to the big club, after getting a taste of pro lacrosse in the NLL. Playing in four games with the Stealth, Wardle posted a goal and three helpers for four points. In three seasons with Victoria’s junior team, the six-foot runner compiled 68 goals and 76 assists for 144 points in 52 contests. Wardle saved his best for last in 2013 as he notched 90 points (46 goals, 44 assists) in 21 games. His efforts earned him the BCJALL’s John Urban Award as the top graduating player and a place on the 2nd All-Star Team. In addition to his regular season numbers, Wardle also played in 11 career playoff games where he collected 10 goals and eight assists for 18 points.

The Shamrocks have now signed 16 players for the 2014 season, including 10 from Vancouver Island. The team continues training camp this week on Wednesday night from 6-8 p.m. at the Q Centre.

The Shamrocks are set to open the 2014 WLA regular season on Tuesday, May 20 as they hit the road to take on the Nanaimo Timbermen. The two squads will face-off again three days later on Friday, May 23 for the Shamrocks 2014 Home Opener at 7:45 p.m. This year’s home opener will be a one-of-a-kind Family Tailgate Party and Beer Garden to celebrate the club’s 65th Season. Season Tickets are on sale now and are available by calling the Shamrocks front office at 250-478-ROCK.