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Maple Ridge Burrards rebuilding with young talent

Take Kaden Doughty in first round of WLA draft
Langley Thunder Junior A player Kaden Doughty was drafted by the Burrards in the first round. (Langley Events Centre photo) Langley Thunder Junior A player Kaden Doughty was drafted by the Burrards in the first round. (Langley Events Centre photo/Special to The News)

The Maple Ridge Burrards say the WLA draft on Tuesday night went exactly as they anticipated – they got the players they planned to pick.

With their first selection, sixth overall, the Burrards picked Kaden Doughty – a defensive/transition player who was already at the Mann Cup with the Langley Thunder last season.

Burrards GM Lance Andre said he loves the player’s speed and tenacity to win a loose ball. So did the Calgary Roughnecks, who drafted Doughty 99th overall in the 2022 NLL draft.

He’s from Vernon, but has lately lived nearby, working in construction in the Lower Mainland, and playing Junior A with the Langley Thunder. Last season he scored five goals and 14 points in 11 Junior A games.

Then the Burrards picked Mitchel Sandberg, who is a six-foot-four left hander from Delta, who is currently playing in the NCAA with the Ohio State Buckeyes. He was taken with the first pick of the second round, eighth overall.

Sandberg plays a smart game, which is to be expected from a guy studying medicine, and was a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2022.

When called upon, he can also be a blunt instrument on the lacrosse floor.

“He’s a big boy with a hard outside shot,” said Andre.

Next the Burrards picked Spencer Ma in round three, who was the Coquitlam Junior Adanacs team captain, and plays bigger than his size. He’s a righty defender.

The fourth round pick was Trevor Funk, a left handed forward from Maple Ridge who played junior in Coquitlam last season, and also got into the lineup with the Burrards.

And in the fifth round Luke Evans was drafted out of Langley Junior A, and is another big defender.

“Exactly what we mapped out happened,” said Andre.

They will complement Drew Andre and Isaac Ngyou, the two players who were chosen by the Burrards as territorial protection picks, who were not entered into the draft.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge Burrards protect two local prospects ahead of WLA draft

“We tore the whole thing (team) down, and we’re building it back up,” Andre said. “The guys who we got – we’re excited.”

The Burrards will start training camp in April, with Rob Williams back as head coach, with assistants Kevin Reid and Zack Porter.

READ ALSO: Newly acquired Aatu Räty set to join Abbotsford Canucks soon

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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