Burrards load up on lefties at jr. draft

WLA team takes PoCo sniper Connor Goodwin with fifth overall pick in this year's draft.

The Maple Ridge Burrards added scoring depth to their roster at the recent Jr. A draft by loading up on left-handed shooters.

The Maple Ridge Burrards added scoring depth to their roster at the recent Jr. A draft by loading up on left-handed shooters.

The Maple Ridge Burrards took a goal-a-game sniper with their first pick in last week’s Western Lacrosse Association Draft.

Connor Goodwin, of New Westminster, has 22 goals and 26 assists in 14 games with the Port Coquitlam Saints of the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League last season. The 6’1’’, 180-pound lefty shooter was traded to the Calgary Mountaineers late last season and had four goals and seven assists in four games at the western Canadian championships.

He currently attends McGill University, where he plays field lacrosse.

Burrards general manager Daren Fridge said lefty offensive-types are a desired commodity in the WLA and that Goodwin will help balance the Burrards’ attack.

“He’ll add depth to the left side,” a shooter who can pick and role and cut through the middle of the floor.

Goodwin played several games as an affiliate with the Burrards last season and scored a hat-trick in one.

In the third round, the Burrards grabbed a defensive-transition player, 6’1’’, 205-pound Steven Ferdinandi of the New Westminster Salmonbellies.

The gritty, hard-working lefty slipped to the third round, Fridge said, because of a school commitment, but he was too good to pass up considering the Burrards didn’t have a second-round pick.

The Burrards, under head coach Chris Gill and assistant Rob Williams, developed a big, punishing back end unit that made teams pay for cutting to the middle of the floor. Fridge said Ferdinandi, if he can join the team, would fit in well there.

The Burrards took Michael Henry from the Delta Islanders in the fourth, and his teammate Sam Clare in the fifth.

Henry had 10 goals and 42 assists for Delta, while Clare had two points in three games.

Fridge said Henry, from Kamloops, could get a look early in the season, when nine or 10 Burrards’ players are still competing in the National Lacrosse League.

In the sixth, Ridge selected Matthew Shields of the Burnaby Lakers, and in the seventh took Alex Margeston of the Langley Junior A squad.

In the eighth, the Burrards selected Dustin Parker from the Maple Ridge Junior B team, and in the ninth took his teammate Kyle Comeault.

The Burrards finished third in the WLA regular season in 2014 with a 9-8-1 record.

They surrendered just 125 goals, second fewest in the league, and netted 150, which was middle of the pack.

The Burrards eliminated the Burnaby Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, advancing to the WLA final for the first time in 23 years, but losing to the Victoria Shamrocks in five games.

Fridge expects the team to compete for a spot in the upper half of the league standings again this coming season, and used the draft to stockpile more talent and depth.

“You never sit still, right?”

He’s been with the Burrards organization for 23 years, first as a player and the past 12 as an executive member.

He knew they had a good team last year, “and we showed how good we can be.

“But we are all still chasing Victoria.”