by Gareth Gilson

The Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) has scheduled its 2021 Graduating Junior Draft for Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.

And for the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health orders, the WLA will be hosting its draft of B.C.’s top 21-year-old players virtually.

The draft will be webcast live at WLALacrosse.com and hosted by longtime play-by-play commentators and frequent draft hosts Jake Elliott and Brad Challoner. A representative from each team will also appear by video link along with WLA commissioner Paul Dal Monte.

As a result of the pandemic cancelling the 2020 season, the WLA board of governors has voted to use the standings from the league’s last complete season, in 2019, as the basis for determining this year’s draft order. Draft picks have been assigned in reverse order of the 2019 final regular season standings.

As a number of trades affect the first four draft rounds, the projected order of first round picks is: 1) Coquitlam Adanacs, 2) Maple Ridge Burrards, 3, 4, 5) Nanaimo Timbermen, 6) Langley Thunder and 7) Victoria Shamrocks. Burnaby Lakers will make their first pick in the second round (10th overall) and New Westminster Salmonbellies in the third round (19th overall). For the full, up-to-date draft order, visit WLALacrosse.com.

Draft results will be presented live at WLALacrosse.com and on official WLA social media channels. Check your team’s social media or use the hashtag #WLADraft to participate in the conversation.

The WLA and its member teams are preparing to play a 2021 season, said Dal Monte, noting, “We are optimistic that we will be able to put together a schedule and format that will be permitted under public health orders.”

Further details will be announced closer to the start of the season.