Maple Ridge Burrards look for more offence

You can never have enough offence, at least that’s what the Maple Ridge Burrards are hoping as they prepare to bolster their ranks at the 2011 Western Lacrosse Association draft on Tuesday in Burnaby.

The three previous drafts have been very good to the club, allowing them to assemble a talented core of young shooters, including first-round picks Joel Dalgarno, Jarrett Davis, and Curtis Dickson, who combined for 152 points last season.

Head coach and general manager Daren Fridge sees no reason to buck the trend, as he hopes to draft skilled scorers with the team’s early picks.

“We’ll have to wait to see what’s available,” he said. “I think the other GMs would agree that the weight of this draft is in the back end. There’s a lot of really good young defensemen slash transition players this year, as well as goaltenders.”

“But there’s four or five legit offensive players we have our eyes on.”

The Burrards have three picks in the first two rounds thanks to the trade of Paddy Corrigan to the Burnaby Lakers last season. The Burrards have the No. 4, No. 8, and No. 11 picks.

Expected to go early in the draft is Maple Ridge’s own Jarrett Toll, who captained the New Westminster Salmonbellies junior A team to a Minto Cup appearance last season.

Toll was once the senior Burrards’ ball boy, however Fridge doesn’t know if the local defenceman would be a good fit for the club right now.

“He’s very attractive to us, but he does have school and work commitments,” Fridge said. “We have needs at this point that are more imperative… but he may be too attractive to pass up.”

Fridge said he will likely use the team’s later picks to snag players with size.

“Were not a small team, but we got pushed around in the play-offs last year,” he said.

While Fridge said the team is committed to starting Ron Schibild, who won the WLA’s Leo Nicholson Award for outstanding goaltender last season, he would like to be able back him up with someone who could steal the odd game and provide some depth.

Last year’s squad, which earned their first play-off appearance since 2005, will largely remain intact for this season.

While a handful of players could have National Lacrosse League commitments early in the season, Fridge says any games they might miss at the beginning of the season will more than me made up for by the experience they get playing pro lacrosse.