CALGARY, AB — Continuing to add big bodies to the roster, the Calgary Roughnecks signed 6-foot-5 forward Spencer Evans.
Evans, a Coquitlam, BC native saw his NLL dream pass when he went undrafted in the 2013 NLL Draft.
But he didn’t give up.
He joined the Maple Ridge Burrards of the Western Lacrosse Association for the 2013 season, where he scored 13 points (11g, 2a) in 13 games as a rookie.
Prior to his second season in Maple Ridge, Evans thought his lacrosse career might have come to an end.
He was badly injured in a work accident.
“I fractured and dislocated my elbow and severed one of my main arteries at work,” explained Evans. “I was pinched between a dock leveller and now I have a massive scar on my arm. I can almost fully straighten my arm and I can fully bend it now, but at the time, there was a chance that I would have lost half my arm.”[For a full length story on the injury – including graphic images – click here]
The big righty worked hard to rehab his arm and get the stick back in his hands. After missing the entire 2014 season, Evans was able to re-enter the Burrards line-up for the 2015 season.
His lacrosse career was back on track.
After a season where Evans and Maple Ridge won the WLA Championship and earned their first Mann Cup berth since 1990, the thought of playing in the NLL once again became possible.
That’s when his phone rang.
“I got a phone call from Rob Williams, my Senior A coach with the Burrards, he phoned me up and asked me if I was interested in playing and an opportunity. I was in, 100 percent,” Evans said. “He sent the word out to the head coach and [Curt Malawsky] gave me a call. Everything came together from there. I was excited about it.”
Listed as a forward on the Roughnecks roster, Evans admits that he is willing to play on either side of the ball.
He has experience coming out of the front door and the back door at the senior level with Maple Ridge.
“They said forward, offence. But honestly, I’ll fit in where I need to fit in,” admitted Evans. “The Burrards had me playing offence and defence, so I’ll play whatever is needed.”
The former college basketball player is thankful for the connections he has and the relationships that will help make his transition to the NLL and easy one.
In the past, Evans has played for or alongside Riggers defensive coach Rob Williams, Curtis Dickson, Frankie Scigliano, Matt Symes, Riley Loewen and Garrett McIntosh.
Given his size, Evans likes to use that to his advantage, but he also believes he has the hands and shooting ability to finish when needed.
“I’m kind of a banger and a bruiser – I use my size on offence,” Evans said. “I like to drive the ball. I’ve got a hard shot, so I like to shoot the ball from outside. Mostly I set strong picks that open up guys and I go through the middle hard to get the goals inside because I’ve got good hands.
On defence, I’m always looking for transition, but I’m a solid body back there and I hold my own.”
With training camp right around the corner, Evans is looking forward to getting on the floor with his new team.
In preparation for his tryout with the team, he has been working hard in the early mornings to be ready for his first chance to realize his NLL dream.
“Just training every morning,” said Evans. “I work every day and have kids at home, so I’m pretty busy. I get up at 4 in the morning and work out, get a run in or lifting, or whatever I can do. I do that throughout the week and on weekends, it’s usually family time.”