In Monday’s NLL Draft, the Roughnecks welcomed nine new faces to the franchise.
The Roughnecks selected three players in first round, three in the second round, and one in the third, fifth and sixth rounds, respectively.
While general manager Mike Board and co-GM Curt Malawsky worked closely with the scouts and coaching staff to find and evaluate the top talent from across North America, they had some help from the returning players on the team.
“I think the exciting thing is that the guys on the team had a lot of input on the draft this year. Board and I have to tip our hat to the scouts and the players,” said Malawsky. “They called us and let us know a lot of things on different players. That really made us feel good. Not only did we look at their input, but that they cared so much to call and say that you need to go after this guy was great.
“I can’t say enough about how the draft went and we have to tip our hat to everyone involved. The players, the scouts, [Mike] Board, and everyone showed an interest and everyone can enjoy these results for the next few days and after that, it’s putting everyone together and the players will decide where they fall.”
With a big crop of talented players coming to camp, the future of the Roughnecks looks bright.
1st ROUND, 3rd Overall — ZACH CURRIER
A prospect they never imagined would fall to them at 3rd overall, Currier (6-foot, 180 lbs.) is a left-handed transition player from Peterborough, Ont. He played field lacrosse at the University of Princeton and box lacrosse with the Peterborough Lakers.
Recently, Currier and the Lakers made the long road trip out west to face the New Westminster Salmonbellies in the Mann Cup. After losing the first two games to the home squad, Currier and his team rebounded with four straight wins to win the championship.
In Calgary, he’ll be reunited with Lakers teammates Curtis Dickson and Holden Cattoni.
“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.”
1st ROUND, 9th Overall — TYLER PACE
A right-handed forward, Pace (6-foot, 180 lb.) played his junior lacrosse in the Coquitlam Adana system and played his college lacrosse at the University of Denver. The Mission, B.C. native won a Minto Cup in 2016 with Adanacs and a NCAA DIV I Championship in 2015 with the Pioneers.
With his move to Calgary, the talented, determined young man will reunite with former coach Malawsky and former teammate Wesley Berg.
“Honestly, it’s a dream come true. If it was to be to one team with certain players and coaches that I’ve played with before, it was Calgary. I’m really excited that I’m getting this opportunity.”
During his Jr Adanacs career, Pace registered 188 points (89g, 99a) in just 40 regular season games. In an additional 55 playoff games, he added 84 goals and 178 points.
1st ROUND, 11th Overall — RYAN MARTEL
Martel (5-foot-10, 185 lb.) declared early for the 2017 NLL Draft, after renouncing his final years of NCAA eligibility.
That proved to be a wise decision as he was taken with the final pick in the first round of the NLL Draft.
“I was not expecting a first round draft pick, so I’m very happy about this selection,” said a shocked Martel.
In his first season in the BCJALL playing for the Langley Thunder Jr. A, Martel finished second in the league in goals with 43 and points with 97. Those totals helped Martle earn the BCJALL Marcolis Gilson Award for Rookie of the Year.
At 19 years of age, he’s got a lot to learn, but Malawsky believes that his chances of making the team are legitimate and up to Martel.
2nd ROUND, 21st Overall — ANTHONY KALINICH
Another player who declared early and the teammate of Martel, Kalinich (6-foot, 175 lb.) is an athletic right-handed defender who put up nine points (4g, 5a) in 21 games with the Langley Thunder Jr. A this season.
The 18-year old was given a cup of coffee with the Thunder’s senior team this summer. During the seven-game stint, Kalinich wasn’t able to record a point, but he was tagged with 10 penalty minutes.
2nd ROUND, 22nd Overall — COLE PICKUP
The Roughnecks will be waiting a while on this player.
Pickup (6-foot, 175 lb.) is an exceptionally talented lefty forward that came through the Victoria Shamrocks system, but he will be heading to the University of Nebraska-Omaha on a hockey scholarship beginning this fall.
2nd ROUND, 23rd Overall — COLE SHAFER
A smaller right-handed forward (5-foot-8, 160 lb.), Shafer has routinely been able to find ways to score on bigger, stronger defenders. His quickness, lacrosse IQ, and drive allow him to find holes and shooting lanes.
In the BCJALL, Shafer recorded 88 goals and 200 points with the Coquitlam Jr. A Adanacs. After his final year with the Adanacs, he joined Team England at the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, where he was an integral part of the team’s offence. Shafer finished the tournament with 15 goals and 19 assists, good for 13th overall, ahead of names like Dhane Smith, Lyle Thompson, and Mark Matthews.
Since then, the Drexel University star has been playing his box lacrosse with the Langley Thunder of the WLA. In a pair of seasons with the Thunder, Shafer has 31 goals and 77 points to his name.
3rd ROUND, 26th Overall — LIAM PATTEN
A righty transition player, Patten (6-foot-1, 195 lb.) is tough, fast, and isn’t afraid to throw his body around. That’s pretty obvious considering his 290 penalty minutes through 87 games in Jr. A.
Having played between Jr. A, the ALL, and CLAX, Patten has played with four different teams over the past three years. His most recent team, the Okotoks Raiders of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League, put him in the Roughnecks backyard and giving GM Mike Board a good look at this top prospect.
5th ROUND, 45th Overall — STEPH CHARBONNEAU
The captain of the Barrie Lakeshores, Charbonneau is a steady stay at home defender who plays with and edge, but has the discipline to not take bad penalties.
After a mid-season trade out west to the Coquitlam Jr. A Adanacs, Charbonneau helped his new team reach the Minto Cup. Unfortunately, they were not able to conquer the Six Nations Arrows, but the experience he earned playing against some of the top Junior talent is invaluable.
The Roughnecks eastern scout, Brian Beisel, is the head coach for the Lakeshores and has a great understanding of what he’s getting with Charbonneau. That relationship may be why the team called his name at this point in the draft.
6th ROUND, 54th Overall — MITCH MCDOLE
The final pick of the Roughnecks draft, McDole (6-foot, 165 lb.) is a lefty forward out of the Langley Thunder system.
During his Jr. A career that was split between the Langley Thunder and the Burnaby Lakers, McDole has netted 64 goals and 152 points in just 49 games. After a two-game stint in the WLA in 2016, the talented lefty played just two more games in 2017 before being moved to the Maple Ridge Burrards, where he played just one game. At the senior level, McDole has registered just a single goal in his five games, but he has added five assists for six points.