TORONTO – The Toronto Rock selected forward Tyler Gibbons with their first pick in the 2005 NLL Entry Draft (second round, 15th overall) held at the Rexall Centre in Edmonton Monday night.
Gibbons was one of eight players selected by the Rock who also picked transition players Nathan Gilchrist (Six Nations Jr. A), Chad Monroe (Kitchener-Waterloo Jr. A) and Sean Felstead (Brampton Jr. A), forwards Chet Koneczny (Orangeville Jr. A), Nick Inch (Kitchener-Waterloo Jr. A) and Ben Powless (Six Nations Jr. A) and defender Travis Gault (Orangeville Jr. A).
In 20 junior games last year with the Owen Sound Flying Dutchmen, Gibbons had 39 goals and 36 assists, along with 68 penalty minutes.
“The kid looks like he deserves a shot here,” said Rock head coach and GM Terry Sanderson. “He’s not a big guy but some of the things he does, it’s character stuff that I like to look for in a kid. That’s really important.”
Gibbons is 5’10”, 170 lbs and played for three teams this season including the Owen Sound Sr. B Woodsmen coached by Sanderson and Rock assistant John Lovell and the Orangeville Northmen Jr. A team coached by Rock assistant Matt Sawyer.
“Tyler’s one of the kids we had pegged at that position that we were hoping for. We were fortunate we were able to get him.”
Overall, Sanderson said he is pleased with the draft results.
“It went much like we wanted to. Two of the three kids we were really hoping we were able to get. So we’re pleased.”
Gilchrist, the Rock’s second pick in the draft (third round, 23rd) is currently playing with the Six Nations Arrows at the Minto Cup Jr. A national championship in Edmonton. The Rock traded injured-reserve forward Ryan Painter and a third-round selection in the 2006 NLL Entry Draft for the 23rd pick overall in 2005 which they used to select Gilchrist.
“He’s a defensive player with a great scoring touch,” said Rock assistant coach Matt Sawyer. “He’s got big game experience as well, so we’re happy about that.”
“Gilchrist has character written all over him,” added Sanderson.
Brodie Merrill, brother of Rock defender Patrick, was selected first overall by the Portland Lumberjax.