The Toronto Rock Lacrosse Club have selected six players in the 2009 National Lacrosse League (NLL) Entry Draft held this evening at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY in the 100 Level Harbour Club.
The Rock focused on building their offence, as they have already secured defenders Sandy Chapman, Phil Sanderson, Dave Cutten and Tyler Codron so far this off-season.
Toronto’s first selection was Garrett Billings (6th overall) out of the University of Virginia.
“We are extremely pleased to have selected Garrett as our first draft pick,” said Toronto Rock general manager, Terry Sanderson. “He’s a right handed shot that is an excellent playmaker with a good scoring touch. I expected him to go higher than he did, so we are blessed to have him at the sixth pick.”
Billings, a Langley B.C. native, was named the Western Lacrosse Association’s Rookie of the Year after scoring 38 goals and collecting 39 assists for the Langley Thunder.
“It was very important after securing Billings that we picked left side help on offence,” said Sanderson.
The Rock found the help in their next two first-round selections.
Joel Dalgarno, Ohio State’s captain from Port Coquitlam, B.C. was the Rock’s next pick (1st round, 7th overall).
“Dalgarno is fast,” comments Sanderson. “He sees the floor well and is the kind of guy that wants the ball in big game situations.”
As a member of the Maple Ridge Burrards, Dalgarno has posted 100 points in only 23 games in his first two seasons of Sr. A lacrosse.
The Rock’s final first round selection was Stephen Leblanc (11th overall). The Division II forward started in all 14 games for Queens University and compiled a team high 75 points on 54 goals and 21 assists. According to Sanderson, “Stephen was originally a member of the Burlington Chiefs and was able to hone his skills out West.” Leblanc posted a solid rookie season with the Langley Thunder banking 42 points.
After sitting out of the second round of the draft the Toronto Rock selected Damon Edwards (3rd round, 31st overall). As Toronto’s first defensive pick, Edwards comes off a Minto Cup win with the Orangeville Northmen and has the speed and energy behind him to make an impression in the fast-paced NLL.
“We knew going into the draft that Edwards is injured but we have high hopes for him once he is rehabbed,” said Sanderson. “He’s plays the kind of transition game that all teams covet.”
Toronto’s final two selections of the entry draft were also from Orangeville, ON. Anthony Lackey was selected in the fifth round, 43rd overall.
“Lackey has two years experience in Major Series Lacrosse playing with the Barrie Lakeshore, said Sanderson. “He is a defensive transition player, with a good opportunity to make the club. He’s very fast, reads the floor well, and moves real well.”
John Quarrie (6th round, 53rd overall) was the Rock’s last pick. A former member of the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals, Quarrie make take the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education before committing to the Rock.
“We are going to see John’s situation, said Sanderson. “If it isn’t this year then by the time he is ready to play he will have a few years of Senior A ball under his belt, and that will only help him and the Rock.”
The Rochester Knighthawks held the first two selections of the night and drafted defenceman Sid Smith out of Syracuse University as the first overall pick of the 2009 NLL Entry Draft.
For all the 2009 NLL Entry Draft results please visit the National Lacrosse League website.