Mitch McDole made a big decision this summer.

The left-handed forward from Maple Ridge, B.C., renounced his collegiate eligibility to enter the NLL Draft early.

“I basically had to make the decision of playing at school or come and try this,” explained McDole. “I just wanted to try and get to the next level of playing lacrosse. I was grinding all summer to get to this point, so hopefully I can get to the next step.”

As a younger player without any major statistics that would catch the eyes of GM’s around the league, McDole attended the NLL Combine at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in the two days prior to the draft.

The 6-foot, 175 –lb. forward got some pre-combine advice from Roughnecks coach Curt Malawsky.

“I had a talk before the combine with coach Malawsky,” he said. “Just a brief chat and he gave me some pointers on what to do out there.”

Whatever Malawsky said seemed to help.

McDole impressed the Riggers bench boss because Calgary called his name with the 53rd-overall selection in the sixth round of the draft.

“It was pretty surreal,” McDole said. “Just happy to hear my name and I just can’t wait to get to training camp and meet all of the guys.”

“I hoped it was Calgary. I hoped I was just going to have my name called at all, but I was really hoping for Calgary. It worked out in my favour.”

Coming into training camp, he’ll have to continue to impress the coaches if he hopes to land a spot on the roster.

He’ll get to strut his stuff alongside Langley Thunder (BCJALL) teammates Ryan Martel (1st round, 11th overall) and Anthony Kalinich (2nd round, 21st overall).

He’s just going to keep doing the things that got him to this point.

“Whatever the team needs,” said McDole.

“I’m a playmaker, I set picks, get people open and feed the ball to the guys who can put the ball in the net. I can put the ball in the net myself if you put me in front of the net. If you look at the stats, I’m 50/50 goals and assists and I take pride in those assists.”

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