New goaltender among Thunder draft day pickups
Goaltender Frank Scigliano and forward Dane Dobbie were opponents this past summer at the World Lacrosse Indoor World Championship at Langley Events Centre for England and Canada, respectively, but will be teammates this summer in the Western Lacrosse Association after the Langley Thunder acquired Scigliano from Maple Ridge for four draft picks and three players. Langley Events Centre photo
The Langley Thunder continued to stockpile talent ahead of the 2020 Western Lacrosse Association season. The Senior A men’s lacrosse team added an elite goal-scoring talent via the draft as well as converting some of their abundance of draft capital into acquiring the league’s reigning top goalie.
The former was the team’s first overall pick on Thursday night at the WLA Graduating Junior Draft at Langley Events Centre as Langley selected Surrey standout Tre Leclaire. The six-foot-two, 210-pound right-handed forward (currently starring in the field game for Ohio State) has been an unstoppable force in the box game the past few summers accumulating 115 goals and 227 points in 50 BC Junior A Lacrosse League regular season games with Delta and New Westminster.
The latter move made by the Thunder was trading a pair of first-round picks as well as two second-round picks, plus the playing rights to James Rahe, Dan Lewis and Aidan Milburn, in exchange for the WLA Goalie of the Year, Frank Scigliano, of the Maple Ridge Burrards.
The five-year vet (who also represented England this past September at the 2019 World Lacrosse Indoor World Championship at Langley Events Centre) posted career-best stats this past summer with a 5.16 goals against average and an .883 save percentage in 13 games.
Leclaire was selected in the Compensatory Round of the draft as for the first year the WLA allowed teams the opportunity to protect one draft-eligible player from within their community. If they chose not to, then the team was awarded a pick prior to the start of the actual draft.
The Coquitlam Adanacs, who held the first overall pick, chose to protect Reid Bowering and since Langley was slated to select second and they did not protect anyone, they had the opportunity to nab Leclaire.
And while Langley did not protect any of their homegrown talent, they did manage to snag local product Nathan Kozevnikov, who has been picked fifth by Victoria in the Compensatory Round. The Shamrocks flipped the right-handed forward (he scored 48 goals and 61 points in 20 games over a couple of seasons in the BCJALL with Langley) for Brad McCulley, a Victoria product who played last season for the Thunder.
Once the wheeling and dealing was done, Langley still plenty of draft capital, using the bulk of their remaining picks to focus on the defence and transition game.
The team selected Harrison Smith in the first round and Quinn McKitrick, Thomas Rennie and Jordan Trottier in the second. Smith and McKitrick are right-handed defenders while Rennie and Trottier are left-handed defenders. The first three finished their Junior A careers with the Langley while Trottier was with New Westminster.
The team also had one pick apiece in the final six rounds adding Aaron Skye (RH, defence), Colin Munro (LH, offence), Matthew McIlwrick (LH, offence), Matthew Brunsch (RH, defence), Cameron Overby (goalie) and Christian Bosa (RH, offence).
Skye, Brunsch and Overby played junior last season with Langley while Bosa spent the most of his junior career with Langley before being traded to Coquitlam last year. Munro and McIlwrick also played for Coquitlam.
The Thunder did also make one other trade on Thursday sending a third-round 2020 pick to Victoria in exchange for a second-round pick next year.