The Victoria Shamrocks had the luck of the Irish with them at the 2023 WLA Graduating Junior Player Draft tonight, starting a week earlier with the protection of Patrick Dodds (2022 Jr A: 48 goals, 85 assists) and Casey Wilson (2022 Jr A: 38 goals, 33 assists), strengthening the ‘Rocks offensive capabilities on the right side.
The club kept the draft local, with seven of the eight players coming from Victoria and graduating from Claremont Lacrosse Academy, and all eight players playing for Island teams in Junior A.
“I thought for us, that was almost a perfect night in terms of the draft,” said Head Coach Mike Simpson. “Tons of Island guys that are really just going to be able to step in to the lineup.”
With two picks in the first round, after a quick trade swapping the first and second overall picks with the Burnaby Lakers, the Shamrocks went on to select Arthur Miller from the Nanaimo Junior Timbermen, and Denton MacDonald from the Victoria Junior Shamrocks, second and fourth overall respectively.
Miller is a 6’ 1”, 205lb right-handed offense player living in Nanoose bay with ties to Saanich, an elite player who has adjusted his game to play different roles as called upon and has had a standout Junior A career since being drafted first overall in the 2018 U17 draft.
MacDonald is a 5’ 10”, 185lb left-handed defense/transition player who has held a key role in the success of the Junior Shamrocks and is a highly versatile player who will adjust his game when called upon.
The Shamrocks followed with one pick in each of the remaining rounds all from the Junior Shamrocks: Owen Russell, Trent DiCicco, Isaac Swan, and Travis Pullan.
Russell is a 6’ 0”, 205lb right-handed defender, well known as a fierce competitor who works extremely hard, plays a physical game, and is willing to go the extra mile to help his team win.
DiCicco is a 5’ 11”, 185lb left-handed shooter who came over to the Shamrocks at the trade deadline in the 2022 Junior season, and currently attends The Ohio State University; another key contributor to the Junior Shamrocks success in the Minto Cup run last season.
Pullan is a 5’ 9”, 180lb right-handed defender who has played his whole Junior career in Victoria, and has a reputation as another hard-working, good all-around defender. He is currently attending the University of Mount Olive.
“We couldn’t be more excited with how it went tonight,” said General Manager Chris Welch, “It was a great opportunity to add some young Victoria guys to our mix and that’s exactly what happened.”
The Shamrocks will open the 2023 Western Lacrosse Association season in late May with the full league schedule due to be announced in late February.