Islanders dominate WLA draft with 17 selected

Delta Islanders Chase Fraser, in action here in last year’s B.C. Junior “A” Lacrosse League championship series, was selected third overall by Nanaimo in last week’s WLA Draft.   Photograph By Gord Goble

A 2016 Minto Cup program would have provided a good hint how the 2017 Western Lacrosse Association Draft was going to unfold.

A big night for the Delta Islanders organization saw a whopping 17 players selected, including 15 from the reigning B.C. Junior "A" Lacrosse League champions.

Four players, who played all of their junior in Delta, were taken in the top 10 and three of them will be starting the next chapter of their careers on the Island. Chase Fraser and Jon Phillips were selected third and ninth overall respectively by the Nanaimo Timbermen.

Defender Reese Callies went fourth overall to the Langley Thunder, while Evan Messenger was taken seventh by the Victoria Shamrocks.

Messenger and Phillips were lifelong teammates coming through Delta Lacrosse. They had big final seasons in helping their hometown team win its first-ever league championship, finishing first and second respectively in playoff scoring. Messenger is currently with the National Lacrosse League's Vancouver Stealth and Phillps is in his junior season playing field at UMass Lowell.

Fraser and Callies were acquired in trades with the Langley Thunder back in 2013 and would go on to be prominent players in Delta. Fraser enjoyed an outstanding series in a semi-final triumph over New West last season - a result that clinched the Islanders a berth into the Minto Cup. He led all playoff scorers with 18 goals.

Meanwhile, a number of other top picks reflect deals the club pulled off at the league trading deadline to bolster its playoff chances.

Defender and Victoria native Nate Wade was selected second overall by the Shamrocks. Aiden Milburn went 13th to Langley, while transition players Adam Jay and Ryan Lewis went 16th and 18th overall to Nanaimo.

The Islander draft picks also included Spencer Bromley going 15th to the Coquitlam Adanacs. He had a career best 61 points last season and added 21 more in 12 playoffs games.

Face-off specialist Tyrell Hamer-Jackson went 24th to the Maple Ridge Burrards, while team captain Brad Hofmann was right behind him at 25 to the Burnaby Lakers.

Cody Nass, who spent a better part of four seasons with the Islanders and won the league scoring title back in 2013, was taken 34th overall by Victoria.

Burnaby used its 39th overall pick to select Ontario star Cam Milligan, should he decide to spend more summers in B.C. He was acquired by Delta at the deadline last July.

Rounding out the selections were: Javier Tudela (42nd, Victoria), Brett Andersen (48th, New West) and goalie Ryland Hood (54th, Maple Ridge).

Delta Junior "B" standout Tyler McLeod went in the sixth round to Langley. 

© 2017 Delta Optimist// DELTA OPTIMIST/FEBRUARY 22, 2017 12:00 AM