CALGARY, AB — After dominating junior lacrosse and earning a call-up to the Victoria Shamrocks of the WLA (Western Lacrosse Association) in 2013, things haven’t gone as planned for a once highly-touted prospect.
And he knows it.
After three years of 38 or more goals in the BCJALL, Victoria, BC, native Brody Eastwood scored only 35 goals in 38 games at the senior level.
“I had a couple rough years in box,” admitted the Calgary Roughnecks third round selection. “So I’m not where I’d like to be at and I knew that would hurt my draft stock a bit.”
But his stock didn’t dip too far.
Calgary selected the left-handed forward with the 26th overall pick in 2016 NLL Draft.
Much higher than he was expecting.
“I was so surprised,” Eastwood said.
“I didn’t really hear my name in the whispers of the draft around that area,” except for Stephen Stamps Mock Draft, Eastwood added. “It was a good surprise. I was really excited. A franchise like Calgary is just awesome to be a part of. Looking forward to the opportunity.”
His first opportunity to show what he’s got starts at training camp on Nov. 24.
Eastwood is looking to get back to his old ways and he is hoping to impress his new bench boss with his hard-nosed play, relentless effort, and willingness to play in the dirty areas.
“I feel like I got away from my game in Nanaimo,” Eastwood noted of his play with the Timbermen of the WLA. “I’m not a flashy player, I’m not the most skilled, but I get into the greasy areas and score a lot of greasy goals. In and around the crease, I’m the one getting beat up out front and trying to get the ball and put it in anyway I can. It’s not a lot of flash, but I grind when I’m out there. I really pride myself on working hard and getting the ball.”
A goal is a goal, right? “It doesn’t matter how it goes in,” laughed Eastwood.
In preparation for his audition with the team, Eastwood has been working hard and following the direction from trainer, Jamie.
“Jamie the strength and conditioning guy sent out a package with all the exercises and stuff to do. I’ve been following that pretty closely,” stated Eastwood. “Just getting the stick back in my hand and playing wall ball, that type of stuff.”
For many young players going into an NLL training camp for the first time, it can be an intimidating and nerve-wracking experience.
“It’s always the worst part when you go into a dressing room and don’t know any faces,” he said.
Fortunately, for the rookie, he has had a chance to play alongside quite a few of the Calgary Roughnecks during his time on the Victoria Shamrocks.
“In my last year of junior, Jesse King and I got called up to senior and I got to play with Jeff [Shattler] for a bit of a summer. I also played with Karsen [Leung], Jonny [Harnett], Greg [Harnett], and Dan [MacRae]. So it’s nice to know a few guys going in.”
He’s hoping to play with those guys once again, but this time in Calgary.
“It’s an honour to play with guys like that,” Eastwood said. “I’m hoping to prove myself and hopefully I can play with them in the season.”