Maple Ridge Burrards look for grit at WLA draft

Burrards coach Daren Fridge said the team is hoping to add some “sandpaper” to help create space for the team’s attackers.

The Maple Ridge Burrards have the No. 4 pick at the 2012 Western Lacrosse Association draft on Monday.

The Maple Ridge Burrards have the No. 4 pick at the 2012 Western Lacrosse Association draft on Monday.

The Maple Ridge Burrards are looking to bulk up at the Western Lacrosse Association entry draft on Monday as they prepare to begin their 2012 campaign.

Burrards coach and general manager Daren Fridge said the team is hoping to add some “sandpaper” to help create space for the team’s attackers.

“We’re tired of getting our guys messed with, so we’re looking to toughen up,” Fridge said.

The Burrards have the fourth overall pick at Monday’s draft, with Coquitlam taking the first pick overall, while Burnaby has the second and third.

Fridge says he expects Travis Cornwall and Jackson Decker expected to go in the first two picks, but after that, it’s anybody’s guess who’ll be available.

“There’s a lot of big bodies, a lot of role players in this year’s draft, but not a lot of elite players,” said Fridge “If there is a sold offensive player available at No. 4, we’ll take them. We need to address our physical play, but I don’t know if the first round is the place to do it.”

Fridge said the Burrards will be in the market for large defencemen and transition players. The team will also have some roster holes to fill as both Joel Dalgarno and Randy Daly are expected to miss this season.

Star attacker Joel Dalgarno will be out of the lineup this season due to work commitments. Dalgarno has 178 points in 45 games for the Burrards, but has yet to play more than 13 games in a season.

Fridge said he hopes to see Dalgarno back in the lineup next year.

Daly, meanwhile, had 33 points in 15 games for the Burrards last season. Fridge said he is trying to convince the veteran forward, who has 212 points since coming to the Burrards in 2006, to return for at least parts of next season.

Dalgarno and Daly’s absence leaves a gaping hole in the Burrards’ offence, but Fridge hopes the return of former first-round draft pick Jarrett Davis will help provide scoring.

Davis scored 73 points in 18 games for the Burrards in 2010, leading the team in scoring. Davis played last season for the Hamilton Nationals of the professional field lacrosse league, Major League Lacrosse.

“We’re hoping we’ll get him back,” Fridge said. “We can really do some damage with him in the lineup.”

Last season’s leading scorer, Curtis Dickson will also be returning, providing the Burrards with a potent scoring tandem up front. Dickson had 78 points in 17 games last season.

Fridge said he believes his team can make the playoffs for a third season in a row, but he won’t be satisfied getting bounced in five games by the New Westminster Salmonbellies, as was the case in 2011 and 2010.

“I know this team can make things happen,” he said. “We’ve made the playoffs the last two years, but that’s not good enough. We want to push ourselves further.”

The Burrards will starting their training camp in mid to late April, and kick off the season with their home opener as they host the Coquitlam Adanacs on Sunday, May 20.