CALGARY, AB – Monday night’s National Lacrosse League (NLL) draft was the realization of a life-long dream for Jake Archdekin.
A fan from the start, the Calgary kid watched the Calgary Roughnecks growing up and hoped to wear the uniform one day.
“I went to opening day when the team was introduced,” reminisced Archdekin. “It’s goose bumps when you realize you’re looking up to those guys as an eight, nine, ten-year old and now you’re putting that sweater on, it’s incredible.”
The Roughnecks selected Archdekin with the 36th overall selection in the fourth round of the NLL Draft.
Sitting in the seats on the draft floor and waiting for his name to be called, the young defenceman felt the nerves.
“You could see [Calgary’s selection] coming on the board and I was shaking a bit in the seats,” admitted Archdekin.
“I’m excited and I’m glad it happened.”
Being a Calgary, AB, native, Archdekin was able to showcase his talents more often to the Calgary brass as they were able to attend his games more than some of the other teams.
However, he really put his name on the radar with his performance in the 2016 Minto Cup.
“It was a huge aspect of why I did get drafted,” said Archdekin of his Minto Cup experience. “Being able to showcase my talents against the next level talent, rather than just Alberta, and getting to play against other kids who were drafted today.”
Not only did Archdekin play very well in the tournament, but he helped the Calgary Mountaineers beat both the BC Champions (Delta Islanders) and the Ontario Champions (Orangeville Northmen).
On the team with Jake were fellow Roughnecks draftees, Tony Tremblay (5th round, 45th overall) and Austin Rockwell (6th round, 53rd overall).
Being able to put on the Red and Black alongside his two friends is a special feeling.
“It’s awesome,” Archdekin said happily. “I’ve played with Tony the last six-plus years and I’ve known Austin for the same time period, but just got to play with him this year. It’s incredible seeing everything we’ve done this year and this just tops it off.”
At 6-foot-3 and 220-pounds, Archdekin is a sizeable young man and he likes to use every inch of his frame when he’s on the floor.
Interestingly, he describes his game similarly to that of a former Calgary captain.
“In your face, rough, beat you up every night kind of defender,” described Archdekin. “I’ll shoot the ball when it’s needed, but mostly beat you up for 60-minutes. Like Andrew McBride, actually. I’m somewhat like him.”
As with every player drafted earlier this week, the main goal is to crack the roster.
That applies to Archdekin, too.
But he knows he will have to work hard and be in top physical shape when training camp arrives.
With limited roster spots up for grabs, it won’t be easy for any of the young men joining the Roughnecks through the draft.
“Obviously, I still have to earn a position with the team, as they have a solid back end and there aren’t a lot of spots,” Archdekin said.
“I have to earn everything I want, so hopefully I can do that this year.”