Northmen graduates dominate MSL Entry Draft

By Rad Joseph
Having won seven Minto Cups since 1993, including the last one in 2019, there are lacrosse observers who consider the Orangeville Northmen as somewhat of a lacrosse factory. The 2021 MSL Entry Draft reflected that, with 10 of the 30 players selected Thursday night having worn a Northmen jersey.

The Brooklin Lacrosse Club benefitted the most from the drafting of Northmen graduates opting to take four players. With the first overall selection in the draft, BLC general manager Brad MacArthur chose Kyle Waters – a 6’5”, 205-pound forward. In the 2019 season, Waters notched 42 goals in the regular season, added 21 goals in the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League playoffs, and another nine goals in the Minto Cup, where the Northmen swept the Victoria Shamrocks 3-0.
Waters then had the great experience of announcing BLC’s next pick, teammate Zack Deaken. Deaken was BLC’s second pick in the first round and fifth overall. Deaken was the captain of that 2019 Northmen team that won the Minto Cup.
“I did not think he would be available, but there were some tremendous players selected and we were excited he was there for us to select. It's just the way things work out sometimes.” MacArthur said of Deaken.

Brooklin’s third Northmen graduate chosen was transition player Dustyn Pratt who stands 6’2”. And to complete the harvesting of Northmen, the BLC chose Logan Swanton, a 6’1” 200-pound transition player, selected 25th overall.
MacArthur was more than pleased with his haul of seven players. BLC also drafted Jake Stevens, from the Kitchener-Waterloo Braves; Devin Pipher from the Whitby Warriors and Jonathon McConvey from the Mimico Mountaineers.

After the draft MacArthur was very pleased. “The need to put strong building blocks in place,” he said. "(I’m) quite optimistic about the prospect of putting Kyle Waters together with his former teammate Johnathon Donville, who Brooklin drafted in 2020.”

MacArthur said this year’s draft choices are, “Comprised of players who have won multiple championships, players who have won Founders and Minto cups, players who have plenty of experience at winning and players who possess pedigree of being part of a championship culture.”

Owen Sound general manager Steve McCarthy entered the draft having only four selections. However, some draft day trades opened the door for his team to make seven selections. Carter Zavitz, from St. Catharines Athletics will be the correct answer to a trivia question, who was the first player to be selected by Owen Sound when they joined the MSL. Owen Sound also selected Tyler Halls, from Orangeville in the third round; Liam Limoges from the Beaches also in the third round, Sam Firth, of the Northmen in the fifth round, Cameron Dunkerely, from the Orangeville Junior B), and Daire Newborough from the Braves.

The Cobourg Kodiaks had five selections including back-to-back in the first round. General manager John Webb opted for Matthew Sykes, from the Mimico Mountaineers, as the second overall pick, and immediately followed up with Alex Simmons, from the Athletics as third overall pick. Other Kodiaks selections were Curtis Conley in the third round from the Beaches, Curtis Romanchych from the Northmen, and Kealon Pilon from the Athletics in the fifth round.

With four selections, the Oakville Rock selected Mike McCannell, of the Northmen in the first round with the fourth overall pick. A transition player, McCannell stands 6’1” and hits the scale at 185. Additional Oakville selections included Matt Anderson, from the Burlington Chiefs in the second round, Devlin Shanahan, from the Mountaineers in the third round, and Hunter Lemieux from the Chiefs in the fifth round of the draft.

Six Nations Chiefs entered the draft with only three selections but through a trade were able to make four choices. In the second round the Chiefs selected Owen Cook Down from the Beaches, Shonwahnonkon Thompson, from the junior B Akwesasne Indians, Chris Weier from the Northmen in the fourth round, and Mason Kamminga from the Athletics.

Paul Day, general manager of the Peterborough Lakers had seven selections entering the draft. But after making deals for the future, the Lakers chose only Thomas Whitty from the Athletics in the second round and John Vezina from Halton Hills junior B in the fourth round.