by Brian Borkowsky

Following a virtual draft lottery held January 27 at the Langley Events Centre, the New Westminster Salmonbellies will pick first overall after winning the draw.

With no seasons in either 2020 or 2021, the Board of Governors chose to hold the league’s first ever draft lottery rather than having the teams draft based on their finish in the 2019 season.

“Every year we are excited to add some good young talent. The beauty of this year is we will be adding three years of new talent,” said WLA Commissioner Paul Dal Monte. “Our players and coaches are excited and can’t wait to get back on the floor in 2022 and the WLA Draft Lottery is just the first step along the way.”

The Nanaimo Timbermen earned the second overall slot while the Burnaby Lakers are slotted to select third. The Maple Ridge Burrards and Langley Thunder are choosing fourth and fifth overall while the Victoria Shamrocks will pick sixth and the Coquitlam Adanacs have the seventh pick in the opening round.

Before the first round of the draft, teams who chose to protect a player from their home area will be announced, and teams who opted to not protect a player will receive a compensatory pick in the same order as the first round above.

The picks will reverse order for the second round, then continue to snake back and forth for the remainder of the draft. The full draft order with trades applied will be posted at WLALacrosse.com once approved and finalized by the Commissioner following tonight’s results.

The 2022 WLA season will get underway on May 27 with New Westminster travelling to Victoria to face the Shamrocks. The full schedule is set to be released on February 3.

The 2022 Graduating Junior Player Draft will be hosted virtually at Langley Events Centre on February 10th at 7:00pm. The draft will be streamed live, free, and at WLALacrosse.com.