CALGARY, AB — Eight new faces will join the Calgary Roughnecks at training camp after they were selected in the 2016 National Lacrosse League Draft.
The future looks bright for the Roughnecks.
1st ROUND, 5th Overall — HOLDEN CATTONI
After the first four picks came off the board at the 2016 NLL Draft, the Roughnecks were happy to see that their man was still available. Cattoni, a DeWinton, AB native, has long been connected to the Roughnecks, starting back when he was a ball boy with the team. Through that gig, he made a connection with Tracey Kelusky that, years later, would lead him to play for the former Calgary captain with the Peterborough Lakers.
With the Peterborough of the MSL this summer, Cattoni scored 16 goals and added 15 assists in 12 games. Prior to joining the Lakers, the lefty finished his career at Johns Hopkins University with 78 goals and 18 assists in 59 games. Cattoni was an Honorable Mention USILA Division I All-American in 2014 with the Blue Jays.
Growing up in the Calgary area, Cattoni played lacrosse in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League, where he ranked in the top-three in scoring in 2011, 2012, and 2013. During his time in the RMLL, Cattoni scored 220 points (116 goals, 104 assists) in 47 games.
“It’s a huge thrill, to be able to play for the Roughnecks, the team I grew up watching, cheering for, idolizing,” said Cattoni.
2nd ROUND, 15th Overall — VAUGHN HARRIS
When the second round of the draft rolled around, the Roughnecks took the top player left on their board. That player was Harris, a 24-year old righty.
“I’m so excited,’’ he said. “I just wanted to get picked by a team so I could show them my abilities on the lacrosse floor. This is what I’ve worked for my whole life, for this opportunity.”
Harris’ abilities on the floor aren’t solely locked to coming out of the front door. In fact, with the Six Nations Chiefs of the MSL, he played in a transition role. He even made an impact in the face-off circle, winning 84 of 140 over three years. During those years in Six Nations, Harris has won the 2014 and 2016 Mann Cup.
It’s not the only thing Harris has won, either. He earned a bronze medal at the 2012 U19 FIL World Championship and the 2014 FIL World Championship with the Iroquois Nationals. During his collegiate career with Onondaga, he won the 2013 and 2014 NJCAA Championship. He even earned the Founders Cup in 2011 with the Six Nations Rebels.
The only thing left for Harris is a Champion’s Cup.
2nd ROUND, 21st Overall — MATT SYMES Only weeks before the draft, Symes was playing in the biggest games’ of his career. The Maple Ridge Burrards of the WLA were taking on the Six Nations Chiefs in the Mann Cup. While the Burrards would fall to the Chiefs, the young righty made a name for himself.
Not that the Roughnecks needed to know his name.
With new defensive coach Rob Williams being his head coach with Maple Ridge, Calgary had an inside take on their second round selection. In his rookie season with the Burrards, Williams saw Symes score 11 goals and 11 assists while working extremely hard off-ball.
During his time at Whittier College, Symes suited up for 61 games, in which he tallied 74 goals and 13 assists. He helped lead the Poets to their sixth appearance in the NCAA Division III National Championship.
3rd ROUND, 26th Overall — BRODY EASTWOOD With the first of back-to-back picks in the third round, Calgary decided to pick up highly touted prospect in Eastwood.
Eastwood recorded 38 or more goals in three straight seasons during his Jr. A career with the Victoria Shamrocks. Those goal totals earned him the Marigolds Gilson Award for Rookie of the Year in 2011, as well as being voted to the first All-Star Team in 2012.
The two-time All-Star got his first taste of senior lacrosse in 2013, playing in the Mann Cup with the Shamrocks. Currently a member of the Nanaimo Timbermen, the lefty forward scored eight goals and eight assists in 13 games in 2016.
Playing attack for the Stony Brook Seawolves in college, Eastwood started in each game of his career. In his 66 games, he was a constant scoring threat, netting 182 goals. He paired that with 15 assists for 197 points in his four-year career.
3rd ROUND, 27th Overall — KEEGAN RITTINGER The junior career for Rittinger had a perfect ending — a Minto Cup. Alongside teammate Christian Del Bianco, Rittinger was a leader during the Coquitlam Adanacs run to greatness.
A big, physical defender, the 6-foot-1 Rittinger was the leader of the BCJALL’s best defence. The Adanacs allowed only 118 goals in 21 games. This was a big factor in their success in 2016.
In 2016, the righty d-man made a minimal impact on the offensive end of the floor, scoring only three goals and one assist.
4th ROUND, 36th Overall — JAKE ARCHDEKIN
In the fourth round, the Roughnecks looked to their own backyard as they plucked Archdekin, a Calgary, AB native. The local product was very excited to be coming home as he has been a fan since the team’s inception in 2001.
“I went to opening day when the team was introduced,” Archdekin said. “It’s goose bumps when you realize you’re looking up to those guys as an eight, nine, 10-year old and now you’re putting that sweater on, it’s incredible.”
The son of Pete the Plumber, Archdekin has made a name for himself in the sport as a major part of the Calgary Mountaineers run to the Minto Cup this summer. The large, rugged defender was a key contributor in the Mountaineer’s historic wins over the Delta Islanders and the Orangeville Northmen.
Playing in the RMLL, Archdekin played alongside Cattoni for many years; until he joined the Mountaineers, where they became rivals.
During his career with the Mounties, Archdekin scored seven goals, while adding 30 assists in 81 games. A bruiser, he was also nabbed for 228 penalty minutes over his four seasons.
5th ROUND, 45th Overall — TONY TREMBLAY The Roughnecks went back again to the local talent pool as they selected transition/defender Tremblay with their fifth round pick.
Tremblay, an early entrant into the NLL Draft, has great athleticism and versatility, being able to play in transition or as a stay at home defenceman. He is adept in the offensive zone when he pushes the ball up the floor, scoring 75 points in 69 career games with the Mountaineers.
The Calgary, AB product had one goal and two assists during the Mounties magical Minto Cup run.
6th ROUND, 53rd Overall — AUSTIN ROCKWELL
With their final pick in the draft, the Roughnecks took yet another local player from the Calgary Mountaineers.
Rockwell, a transition player/defender, was also part of the Mounties team that stormed into the Minto Cup and upset two lacrosse powerhouses. Rockwell netted a goal and an assist during the tournament.
In 25 games in 2016, Rockwell scored 11 goals and added 15 assists for the Mounties. The 5-foot-10 spark plug is still a work in progress, but he brings great effort and athleticism. Rockwell is especially fiesta in fighting for each possible loose ball.