Forward Patrick Dodds and Casey Wilson provided the Victoria Junior Shamrocks with many great moments, culminating with the B.C. Junior A championship last year and appearance in the 2022 Minto Cup national championship tournament.
The senior Victoria Shamrocks are banking on the pair doing the same in the Western Lacrosse Association and made the duo their territorial exemptions for the 2023 WLA draft, which was conducted Tuesday night at the Langley Events Centre.
Each team is allowed two territorial exemptions, who are then struck off the list of players available for the regular draft.
“[Dodds and Wilson] both have bright futures and will be doing for us, for years to come, what they did for the Junior Shamrocks in their junior lacrosse careers,” said Shamrocks general manager Chris Welch.
Dodds is six-foot-three, 212-pounds and plays with a physical edge while also possessing deft passing and stick skills, which are abetted by his ample reach. Despite being only junior age, Dodds had a spectacular pro debut in the National Lacrosse League last year for Panther City of Fort Worth, Texas, with 26 goals and 58 assists for 84 points in 17 games and was the runner-up for NLL rookie of the year award.
“Dodds is a big talented guy with incredible floor vision, who can distribute the ball, but also score,” said Welch.
“Wilson is more of a pure goal scorer.”
Wilson is also an NCAA Div. 1 field-lacrosse sophomore midfielder with the University of Denver and will represent Canada this year in the world championships in San Diego. In the box, Wilson recorded 95 goals and 77 assists for 172 points in 57 regular-season games in his Junior Shamrocks career. Wilson is also noted for his defensive prowess in both box and field.
Dodds, meanwhile, finished his Junior Shamrocks career with 123 goals and 177 assists for 300 points in 72 games.
The Nanaimo Timbermen made six-foot-four forward Ryan Sheridan and goaltender Justin Geddie, both out of the Junior Timbermen program, their territorial exemptions for the WLA draft. Sheridan is an NCAA Div. 1 senior attackman at Hofstra in field lacrosse. Geddie plays pro box lacrosse in the NLL with the Albany Fire Wolves.
Meanwhile, the Shamrocks had the first overall pick in the regular WLA draft, obtained in the Nick Scott trade to the Maple Ridge Burrards. The Shamrocks then flipped the first overall pick to the Burnaby Lakers in exchange for the Lakers’ first-round selection, which was second overall this year, and also Burnaby’s first-round pick in 2024.
The Lakers took Surrey-product and former Junior Timbermen player Jacob Dunbar, a 2021 first-round NLL pro draft pick by the San Diego Seals, first overall on Tuesday night in the regular draft. The Shamrocks selected Arthur Miller second overall out of the Junior Timbermen and NCAA Div. 1 New Jersey Institute of Technology. Victoria selected Denton Macdonald from the Junior Shamrocks and NCAA Bellarmine fourth overall with their own first-round pick. The Timbermen selected defender Evan Soucy third overall out of the Junior Timbermen and Griffin Hall fifth out of the Junior Shamrocks with the two picks they had in the first round.
“This was a really deep draft for Island kids,” said Welch.