Toronto Makes Deal On Draft Floor To Acquire 15th Overall Pick
Oakville, ON – The Toronto Rock swung a trade on the draft floor at the 2017 NLL Draft to acquire an additional pick, bringing their total haul to seven players at this year’s annual selection on Monday night at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, ON.
“This year’s draft was so different than last year,” said Rock Owner, President and GM Jamie Dawick. “Last year was about finding guys that could play and play now. Because we hit on those picks last year, this year was more about taking the best player available.”
In order to secure the 15th overall selection, the Rock dealt their 2020 second round pick to the pick rich Georgia Swarm who began the night with twelve picks in their quiver. The Rock used the acquired second round pick to select lefty transition player Drew Belgrave from the New Westminster Salmonbellies of the BC Jr. A Lacrosse League (BCJALL). After completing his final year of Jr. A lacrosse this summer, he was called up to the Sr. A ‘Bellies and played in each game of the Mann Cup Canadian Sr. A Championship. New West fell in six games to Adam Jones and the Peterborough Lakers.
“Our staff had (Belgrave) real high on the board,” said Dawick. “Our guys liked what they saw from him at the Mann Cup. He’s a strong defender and as he was dropping on the board we felt it was time for us to step up and make a move to get him because we thought he should have been gone.”
The Rock followed that up, just a few picks later, with what many feel might be a risk, but also could end up being the steal of the draft. Defender Zac Masson was selected in the 2nd round, 18th overall and is widely regarded as the top defender graduating from the Ontario Jr. A Lacrosse League (OJALL). However, the catch is, he won’t be available to play in the NLL right away. Masson is currently attending the University of Alaska Anchorage on a hockey scholarship. He could be available to the Rock following the completion of the NCAA hockey season. The Newmarket, ON native won the 2016 OJALL Defender of the Year and the OJALL Playoff MVP. He followed that up by winning a second consecutive OJALL Defender of the Year Award in 2017. He was also an OJALL first team All Star in both 2016 and 2017.
In the third round, the Rock addressed a void in goal by selecting netminder Riley Hutchcraft with the 30th overall pick from the Mimico Mountaineers of the OJALL. The 20-year old from Etobicoke, ON entered the draft early after backstopping his hometown Mountaineers to a spot in the OJALL Finals and subsequently the Minto Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship tournament. Hutchcraft and the Mounties are poised to take the next step in 2018 and a big part of that future success will rest on his shoulders.
With the first of two fourth round selections, the Rock selected defender Alec Tulett from Brown University. Tulett is a Toronto, ON native and a graduate of the Toronto Beaches minor lacrosse organization. At Brown, he earned All-American status in his junior year. He played this summer for the Florida Launch of Major League Lacrosse after being the 29th overall selection in the 2017 MLL Collegiate Draft. Tulett is currently continuing his education, completing his Masters Degree at the University of Rhode Island.
With their second fourth round pick, the Rock took defender Josh Jubenville 40th overall from the Six Nations Arrows of the OJALL. Jubenville is a native of Windsor, ON and made the jump to Jr. A this summer after playing previously for his hometown Windsor Clippers of the Ontario Jr. B Lacrosse League (OJBLL). This summer, he helped the Arrows to a Minto Cup title. The coach of the Arrows is Rock veteran defender Patrick Merrill.
In the fifth round, 49th overall, the Rock went south of the border selecting 6’3”, 225 lbs defender Christian Burgdorf from the University of Denver. The big defender was a first-team All-American in 2016, and earned second-team honours in 2015 and 2017. The 22-year old from Westfield, NJ will bring size and athleticism to training camp as he attempts to make the transition from the outdoor game to the tight confines of the indoor game.
In the sixth and final round of the draft, the Rock selected lefty-forward Daniel Craig from Penn State University, 57th overall. The 23-year old native of Shelburne, ON won the OJALL MVP in 2014 while playing for the Barrie Lakeshores and finished his Jr. A career in 2015 with the Orangeville Northmen (OJALL). Craig hasn’t played any indoor lacrosse over the last couple of summers while he’s recovered from injuries and focused on his NCAA lacrosse career.
2017 Toronto Rock Draft Picks by round:
- Drew Belgrave (New Westminster Jr. A, BCJALL)
- Zac Masson (Orangeville Jr. A, OJALL)
- Riley Hutchcraft (Mimico Jr. A, OJALL)
- Alec Tulett (Brown University, NCAA)
- Josh Jubenville (Six Nations Jr. A, OJALL)
- Christian Burgdorf (Denver University, NCAA)
- Daniel Craig (Penn State, NCAA)
Toronto Rock training camp is slated to begin the first weekend in November, with three exhibition games to follow before opening the 2017-18 season on Friday, December 8 in Buffalo, NY against the Bandits. The Rock’s home opener is Saturday, December 16 against the Saskatchewan Rush at Air Canada Centre.
2017-18 Season Tickets are also on sale now. Please visit torontorock.com/tickets or call 416-596-3075 to purchase or for more information.