NLL Draft Recap: Rees, Dickson Lead BC Contingent
The names were being called out early and often at the 2019 NLL Draft, with several former and current BCJALLers being drafted into the professional ranks.
It started off early with the selection of former Poco Saint and Coquitlam Adanac Ryland Rees going second to the rebranded Rochester Knighthawks, who are technically an expansion team but have retained the rights to the traditional name.
There was a bit of a surprise towards the end of Round 1 with the defending NLL Champion Calgary Roughnecks deciding to take a dart throw on Haiden Dickson, who hit the 50-goal plateau in 2019 while splitting time with Delta and Coquitlam.
Like in years prior, the Roughnecks took B.C.-based players early and often, going back to the well in the second round to grab former Jr. A Shamrock star Marshal King. They would also take steady defender Nick Scott with the 40th overall selection.
Will Malcom may not be a household name outside of BC just yet, but he very well could be in the coming years, landing in a great situation in Colorado. The young player has consistently gotten better as a Salmonbellie and will likely continue that trend as he gets more seasons under his belt.
Victoria's Zach Manns parlayed a strong season and Minto Cup into being named the 27th selection by the Toronto Rock. Manns was one point behind Malcom in the league scoring race and proved he could play against top competition, looking like one of the more dangerous Shamrocks against the Orangeville Northmen.
Nathaniel Kozevnikov was lighting the BCJALL on fire before he suffered an injury in the early part of the season. Buffalo took him anyway, betting on his raw goal-scoring talent.
Kyle Dawson came out to the west coast and it appears he may stay, hearing his name called by the San Diego Seals. With it only being San Diego's second season in the league, Dawson could find himself being an immediate contributor in the transition game.
San Diego also took a chance on another potential impact player in Ryan Jones. Jones was under the radar for much of his junior career, but he knows how to produce and can theoretically play in a number of different systems. He may have gone a lot higher if the Langley Thunder, who acquired him mid-season, were able to make it to the Minto Cup.
The guy they call 'Dunk' is off to the Paris of the Prairies. The Rush took reigning BCJALL MVP Cameron Dunkerley to add to their netminding group. The crease is a bit crowded in Saskatoon, but with Dunkerley's consistent improvement the last two years with the Shamrocks, he could develop into a solid backup.
Finally, Vancouver didn't hold many selections once again (they had three), but put them to good use. They got one of the steals in the draft in heady two-way player Derek Lloyd, who came out to play with the WLA Shamrocks as they made a Mann Cup run this summer. He is an NLL-ready player who can contribute in a number of ways. Keegan Bell is similar. A big-bodied righty forward, he could form a solid duo with anyone on that side, providing size and grit and a willingness to go to the dirty areas. Gord Phillips is a late-round flier but is considered by many to be a solid, team-first player.
2. ROCHESTER KNIGHTHAWKS - RYLAND REES, TRANSITION, BURNABY LAKERS (WLA) / PORT COQUITLAM SAINTS, COQUITLAM ADANACS (BCJALL)
8.CALGARY ROUGHNECKS - HAIDEN DICKSON, FORWARD, COQUITLAM ADANACS/DELTA ISLANDERS
22. CALGARY ROUGHNECKS - MARSHAL KING, FORWARD, VICTORIA SHAMROCKS (WLA & BCJALL)
23. COLORADO MAMMOTH - WILL MALCOM, FORWARD, NEW WESTMINSTER SALMONBELLIES
27. TORONTO ROCK - ZACH MANNS, VICTORIA SHAMROCKS
29. BUFFALO BANDITS - NATHANIEL KOZEVNIKOV, LANGLEY THUNDER
40. CALGARY ROUGHNECKS - NICK SCOTT, LANGLEY THUNDER
41. SAN DIEGO SEALS - KYLE DAWSON, NANAIMO TIMBERMEN
42. SASKATCHEWAN RUSH - CAMERON DUNKERLEY, VICTORIA SHAMROCKS
52. VANCOUVER WARRIORS - DEREK LLOYD, VICTORIA SHAMROCKS (WLA)
66. VANCOUVER WARRIORS - KEEGAN BELL, LANGLEY THUNDER (WLA) / PORT COQUITLAM SAINTS, NEW WESTMINSTER SALMONBELLIES (BCJALL)
71. SAN DIEGO SEALS - RYAN JONES, LANGLEY THUNDER
79. VANCOUVER WARRIORS - GORD PHILLIPS, PORT COQUITLAM SAINTS