Despite being drafted third overall, transition player Zach Currier fell farther in the NLL Draft than most pundits would have thought.
And the Roughnecks brass was mystified that he was still available for them.
“We targeted some guys and we never thought Currier would be sitting there for us at three,” said Riggers coach Curt Malawsky
They quickly and unanimously delivered that selection to the league.
And that’s when NLL Commissioner Nick Sackiewicz got on stage and welcomed the talented young man into the professional ranks of box lacrosse.
“It feels pretty good,” said Currier. “Every little kid dreams of this day, so I’m pretty pumped up and really excited to have a team that wants me on board.”
“It was kind of up in the air where I would end up. I didn’t want to get my heart set on anywhere because I had no control over what happens. I’m happy I ended up in a place like Calgary. I know a lot of the guys, it’s a great city and I’m really excited to get out there.”
In nine games with the Peterborough Lakers of the summer Senior A Major Series Lacrosse league, the lefty transition player notched a pair of goals and six assists while playing outstanding defence.
And while he was impressive in regular-season play, he really shined in the MSL post-season and the 2017 Mann Cup, where he added another 17 points in 17 games to help his team — which includes Roughnecks forwards Curtis Dickson and Holden Cattoni — win the championship.
“I grew up watching that trophy be won ever since I was eight years old,” recalled the Peterborough, ON, native. “To be able to be on the floor and lift that trophy with those guys, it’s pretty incredible and a really surreal feeling.”
He’ll carry that championship feeling into training camp next month as he begins the newest challenge of his career — winning a Champion’s Cup.
It won’t be easy, but he’s already willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
“I play to have fun, but I play to win because winning is fun,” Currier stated. “Everything I’m doing on the floor is to help my team win. So I’m definitely going to do everything I can to bring the cup to Calgary.”
Other than his desire to help the Roughnecks renew their winning ways, Currier brings a lot to the table.
His new coach was extremely impressed by his play in the Mann Cup and is expecting him to be an impact player right away for the Necks.
“[Currier] brings speed, he brings transition, he brings an element of compete,” Malawsky said. “I watched him play in six Mann Cup games at the highest level, on the biggest stage, and he was one of Peterborough’s top players. Not only does he defend well, he gets the ball up the floor and when he gets up there, he wasn’t dumping it to the offence, he was taking it to the net when he was given a chance and he was scoring. He’s a transitional player who can put the ball in the goal. I never saw him stop moving his feet for the six games of the Mann Cup and he’s just got an engine and a compete level and we’re extremely excited to have him here.”
Currier will likely get his first taste of the NLL in Rochester on Dec. 9, when the Roughnecks take on the Knighthawks in their season-opener.
To make it even more special, he could make his NLL debut against his older brother Josh, who was drafted sixth overall just a year ago.
“That’ll be interesting,’ said the younger Currier. “I’ll have to give him a few whacks.”