MSL Update: Internet Down, Kodiaks Up

The Noble twins won the Minto together and now they'll head to Major Series Lacrosse together. They were the first two picks of the 2013 MSL draft by the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks.
The Noble twins won the Minto together and now they'll head to Major Series Lacrosse together. They were the first two picks of the 2013 MSL draft by the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks.

First off, apologies to those who tried to check in for the live blog of the Major Series Lacrosse draft tonight. The internet was down at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre where the draft was held. Ironically, Brooklin Redmen coach/GM Wayne Colley works for the city of Whitby (IPSC is a city facility), but even he couldn’t help with the problem since it originated with the facility’s server. I did tweet the progress of the draft in real time, so thanks to those of you who followed along and sorry about the couple of mistakes I made. Things were moving quickly and I didn’t get everything entered correctly. The big news of the night was that the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks were able to pull off the deal that I had suggested was a likely scenario. They acquired the first overall pick from the Ajax Rock, giving them the first two picks, which they used to select twin brothers Jeremy and Jason Noble from the Orangeville Northmen. Make the jump for more details and the full draft results.

To obtain the first pick they used to select Jeremy Noble, KW sent Ajax the third overall pick (with which the Rock selected Jordan Critch), a first-round pick in 2015 and forward Dean Hill. Hill, a native of Six Nations, played for the Victoria Shamrocks of the WLA from 2009 through 2011 and spent last summer with St. Regis of the Senior B Quebec Senior Lacrosse League.

The Kodiaks had a mittful of picks early in the draft and used them primarily to bolster a defence that finished fourth in the league last season in goals allowed, giving up 125 in 14 games. KW used their third pick in the first round, fourth overall, to pluck goalie Dillon Ward, who was the MVP of the Minto Cup after he led the Northmen to their third title in five years.

They added three more Orangeville defenders in the draft. They nabbed Billy Hostrawser, who as a second-round pick by the Washington Stealth in the National Lacrosse League draft and debuted with the Stealth last weekend, in the second round along with Whitby Warriors back-door man Mitch Wilde. With another pair of picks in the third round, the Kodiaks picked Orangeville’s Cody McLeod and Brad Gillies.

Ajax had the first two picks in the second round. They selected talented lefty forward Shayne Adams, who spent most of his junior career with the St. Catharines Athletics but was traded to the Six Nations Chiefs last summer, and Orangeville transition man AJ Masson.

In the third round, Ajax took another pair of players who spent most of their careers with St. Catharines but wrapped them up elsewhere. They picked rugged defender Justin Pychel, who was also traded to Six Nations and is now a teammate of Hostrawser in Washington, as well as goalie Connor Danko. The latter spent his final junior season with the Peterborough Lakers.

Ajax made a pick for the future in the fourth round. They grabbed lefty forward Zach Palmer from the Whitby Warriors. Palmer would likely have been a first-round pick but it’s reported that he plans to go backpacking through Europe this summer and won’t be playing lacrosse. Down the road, this could prove to be a steal of a pick. The Rock then grabbed Eric Pitre with their second pick in the fourth round. With Ajax’s final pick, the first of the fifth and final round, they chose Brampton transition player Jake Quarrie.

Brampton had the final three picks of the first round (the first round consisted of seven selections because the Excelsiors still held a pick they had acquired from the now defunct St. Regis Indians). They took Burlington transition player Ethan O’Connor, who scored 44 points in 20 games for the Chiefs last year. With their second pick they grabbed Orangeville defender Hayden Smith; the tough and talented customer is now a member of the Buffalo Bandits after being a second-round NLL choice. The Excels closed out the round by taking Chris Attwood. The reigning Canadian Lacrosse League scoring champion and Most Outstanding Player was originally listed as being protected by the Six Nations Chiefs but he was not eligible to for them to protect so he was made available in the draft.

The Chiefs only had two picks in the draft. They took Orangeville’s Matt Eckert in the fourth round and Logan Schuss in the fifth. Schuss played junior for the BC Junior A Lacrosse League’s Delta Islanders and was the second overall pick in the WLA draft last week.

The Peterborough Lakers started and dominated the trend of selecting players from the west. After tabbing Orangeville defender Graham Bryan with their first pick in the draft–23rd overall–Peterborough used one pick in the fourth round and two in the fifth to pick three of the top four players in the BCJALL draft, all from the 2010 Minto Cup champion and 2011 and 2012 Minto finalists, the Coquitlam Adanacs. The Lakers chose forwards Ben McIntosh (first overall in WLA draft) and Robert Church (fourth) along with big, tough but disciplined defender Jeff Cornwall who was a second round pick of the Buffalo Bandits last year and now plays for the NLL’s Edmonton Rush.

The Brooklin Redmen opened their MSL draft by making a trade. They shipped Ryan Campbell (a CLax all-star last year with the Peel Avengers now playing for the Brampton Inferno) and two fifth round picks to Brampton in exchange for a second rounder and a fourth rounder. They used the second rounder to select righty forward/transition player Joel Matthews (formerly St. Catharines then Six Nations) and used their own second round pick to take Mike Triolo. The towering forward started last season with the Toronto Beaches, was traded to St. Catharines, then wound up his season with the Kitchener-Waterloo Braves.

Brooklin took Whitby defender Sheldon Burns to wrap up the third round then had a pair of picks in the fourth. They used the first of them on Jordan Houtby, a defender who started the year with St. Catharines and was traded to Whitby. An injury forced him to miss the last half of the regular season but he did join the Warriors for the playoffs and Minto Cup, which they hosted. Brooklin finished up their draft by selecting Mike Melnychenko, one of the few graduating players who actually began and ended the year with St. Catharines.

After their trio of first-rounders, Brampton didn’t pick again until the two selections in the fifth round acquired from Brooklin (the first of which had originally been there’s and was returned to them). With the first, they grabbed right forward Dustin Caravello, the 12th and final Orangeville Northman to be selected in the draft. They then had the last pick of the draft and used it to select one of their own, Junior Excelsiors graduate Brady Heseltine.

Full draft results

First Round
KW (from Ajax)  Jeremy Noble
KW  Jason Noble
Ajax (from KW)  Jordan Critch
KW (from Peterborough)  Dillon Ward
Brampton  Ethan O’Connor
Brampton  Haden Smith
Brampton  Chris Attwood

Second Round
Ajax  Shayne Adams
Ajax  (from KW) AJ Masson
KW  (from Brampton)  Billy Hostrawser
KW  (from Peterborough) Mitchell Wilde
Brooklin (from Six Nations via Brampton)  Joel Matthews
Brooklin  Mike Triolo

Third Round
Ajax  Justin Pychel
KW  Cody McLeod
KW (from Brampton) Brad Gillies
Peterborough  Graham Bryan
Ajax (from Six Nations)  Connor Danko
Brooklin  Sheldon Burns

Fourth Round
Ajax  Zach Palmer
Ajax (from KW)  Eric Pitre
Brooklin (from Brampton)  Jordan Houtby
Peterborough  Ben McIntosh
Six Nations  Matt Eckert
Brooklin  Mike Melnychenko

Fifth Round
Ajax  Jake Quarrie
Peterborough (from KW)  Jeff Cornwall
Brampton  Dustin Caravello
Peterborough  Robert Church
Six Nations  Logan Schuss
Brampton (from Brooklin)  Brady Heseltine

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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