Ben McIntosh the first among many Junior Adanacs headlining last night’s WLA draft

Ben McIntosh was the first pick in the 2013 WLA draft held last night. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Ben McIntosh was the first pick in the 2013 WLA draft held last night. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

When half of the players on a team that has represented the BC Junior A Lacrosse League at the last four Minto Cups graduates in one year, it creates a rich draft for the Western Lacrosse Association. That scenario played itself out last night in one of the strongest WLA drafts in years, if not ever. Four graduates of the Coquitlam Junior Adanacs were taken in the first round and 10 in the first six rounds, headed by the Big Four of Ben McIntosh, Jeff Cornwall, Robert Church and Matthew Dinsdale being snapped up among the first five picks.

The Maple Ridge Burrards opened proceedings at the Langley Events Centre last night by taking righty forward McIntosh, who scored 3 goals per game (27g, 15a, 42pts in 9 games) after returning to the Adanacs from school partway through last summer and finished second in scoring at the 2012 Minto Cup.

The New Westminster Salmonbellies had the next two selections and they fortified themselves at both ends of the floor. With the second pick, the Bellies nabbed Logan Schuss. The lefty forward from the Delta Islanders outdid even MacIntosh in last year’s regular season, scoring a remarkable 65 pts (34g, 31a) in the same nine regular season games then led the league in playoff scoring with 53 points (27g, 26a) in 10 contests. New West then grabbed Cornwall, a big and athletic defender who went 15th overall in the 2011 National Lacrosse League draft and has established himself as a solid contributor with the Edmonton Rush.

Church went fourth to Burnaby and Dinsdale (7th overall in the 2012 NLL draft) was taken fifth by the senior Adanacs. A pair of Junior Salmonbellies rounded out the first round. The Burnaby Lakers gave the right side of their offence a boost with the 6′3”, 215-pound Tyler Digby, who put up 183 points over the 2010 and ‘11 seasons but didn’t play last summer. The league champion Langley Thunder then opted for lithe lefty forward Brandon Goodwin.

Just how strong the draft was is underlined by the second round, which was led off by the Burrards choosing Mike Mallory. The righty, currently on the Washington Stealth’s practice roster, was third in BCJALL regular-season scoring and second in playoff scoring last summer with the Islanders. Langley’s Jaeden Gastaldo, currently making an impact as a rookie with the Colorado Mammoth, was the 13th pick, also to Maple Ridge.

Below are the first four rounds of the draft. The WLA will be posting the full draft list on its web site later today. The draft was webcast live and should be available for archived viewing, although the feed does not appear to be working as this story is being posted.

First Round
1. Maple Ridge – Ben McIntosh from the Coq. Jr. A’s.  2. New Westminster – Logan Schuss – Delta Islanders.  3. New West. – Jeff Cornwall – Coq Jr. A’s.  4. Burnaby – Robert Church – Coq. Jr A’s.  5. Coquitlam – Marty Dinsdale – Coq. Jr. A’s 6. Burnaby – Tyler Digby – N.W. Jr. Salmonbellies.  7. Langley – Brandon Goodwin – N.W. Jr. Salmonbellies.

Second Round
1. Maple Ridge – Mike Mallory – Delta Islanders  2. Coquitlam – Kevin Neufeld – Coq. Jr. A’s  3. New West. – Reid Mydske – N.W. Jr. Salmonbellies.  4. New West.  - Keegan Bal – N.W. Jr. Salmonbellies. 5. Coq. – Cody Hawkins – Delta Islanders.  6. Langley – Jaeden Gastaldo – Lang. Jr. Thunder.  7.

Third Round
1. Burnaby – Hamish Brindel – Delta Jr. Islanders  2. Nanaimo – Paul Brebber –  Vic. Jr. Shamrocks.  3. New West. – Reagan Harding – N.W. Jr. Salmonbellies  4. Maple Ridge – Carson Michaud – Poco Saints.  5 Coquitlam – James Delaney – Calgary.  6. Victoria – Jake Emms – Vic. Jr. Shamrocks.  7. Burnaby – Nathan Klein – Coq. Jr. A’s.

Fourth Round
1. Victoria – Kyle Dexter – Nanaimo  2. Nanaimo – Thomas Newton – N.W Jr. Salmonbellies.  3. New West. – Matt Zinn – Delta Jr. Islanders  4. Burnaby – Richard Lachlan – Poco  5. Coquitlam – Cody L’Arrivee – Poco.  6. Victoria – Adam Brown – Vic. Jr. Shamrocks  7 Langley – Hugh Weir – Coq. Jr. A’s.

Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at stamplax@hotmail.com.

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