Lance Andre is the GM of the Maple Ridge Burrards WLA team. (The News files)

Lance Andre is the GM of the Maple Ridge Burrards WLA team. (The News files)

Maple Ridge Burrards plan to ‘go local’ in upcoming draft

WLA announces draft will be held online Feb. 11

The Maple Ridge Burrards are looking at homegrown talent as they plan for the upcoming draft.

The Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) has scheduled its 2021 Graduating Junior Draft for Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.

Lance Andre, the GM and president of the Burrards, said the organization made the decision to “go local” as they rebuild into a contender, and traded up in the draft – to second overall – to get another elite player.

“There’s some great young Maple Ridge kids,” Andre said, adding the team will have both its protected pick, of a player from the local association, as well as the first rounder, to invest in a pair of them.

“We should get two impact players right away, who can help us,” he said. “And start building for the future.”

He declined to tip his hand, and say which players the Burrards are interested in.

For the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health orders, the WLA will be hosting its draft of B.C.’s top 21-year-old players virtually.

The draft will be webcast live at WLALacrosse.com and hosted by longtime play-by-play commentators and frequent draft hosts Jake Elliott and Brad Challoner. A representative from each team will also appear by video link along with WLA commissioner Paul Dal Monte.

As a result of the pandemic-cancelling the 2020 season, the WLA board of governors has voted to use the standings from the league’s last complete season, in 2019, as the basis for determining this year’s draft order. Draft picks have been assigned in reverse order of the 2019 final regular season standings.After the second overall pick, the Burrards will draft sixth in subsequent rounds.

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For the full, up-to-date draft order, visit WLALacrosse.com. Draft results will be presented live at WLALacrosse.com and on official WLA social media channels.

The WLA and its member teams are preparing to play a 2021 season, said Dal Monte, noting, “We are optimistic that we will be able to put together a schedule and format that will be permitted under public health orders.” Further details will be announced closer to the start of the season.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

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