Victoria Shamrocks star Tyson Gibson top pick in NLL draft

From The Q Centre in Colwood to the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, Tyson Gibson is proving to be the real deal.

The Victoria Shamrocks sniper, who went from a 2019 regular season of injury to an outstanding playoff run in the Western Lacrosse Association and Mann Cup, was made the first overall selection Tuesday in the pro National Lacrosse League draft by the expansion New York Riptide.

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Although a sophomore in Senior A with the Shamrocks, Gibson is an incoming rookie in the NLL after graduating from NCAA Div. 1 field lacrosse in the spring with Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

“I am excited and honoured to go first overall,” said Gibson, who was first-team all-conference during his career at Robert Morris.

“I did my best in the Mann Cup for Victoria and I guess I made a good impression. I was motivated to elevate my game. It was a tough season with the [upper-body] injury limiting me to six regular-season games. But I had faith that my Shamrocks teammates would get us into the playoffs.”

Which they did, and a healthy Gibson responded with 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points in nine WLA playoff games as the Shamrocks swept to the league title. He was maybe the best Shamrocks forward in the Mann Cup Canadian championship series with five goals and 10 assists for 15 points in five games to lead Victoria in scoring against the national-champion Peterborough Lakers.

“Playing for the Shamrocks has been the best lacrosse experience of my life and I have nothing but love for Victoria and its lacrosse fans,” said Gibson, who was twice a first-team all-star in the Ontario Junior A League with Brampton

Right back at you, say the Shamrocks.

“Tyson is a great kid and a great player and we are proud of him,” said Shamrocks GM Chris Welch.

“This is a huge accomplishment for him and one he has worked hard to achieve. He had a great Mann Cup series — too bad it didn’t go longer this time.”

Gibson is also embarking on a new venture in his civilian career as well after graduating from Robert Morris with a degree in finance. He has started with a hedge-fund company on Bay Street in Toronto.

“It’s an exciting time in both my lacrosse and finance careers,” he said.

Shamrocks rookie Marshal King, the Claremont Secondary graduate out of NCAA Div. 1 Drexel, was selected in the second round of the NLL draft by Calgary and will join his Shamrocks-teammate brother Jesse King on the defending NLL-champion Roughnecks.

“It’s going to be exciting to play against Marshal in the NLL,” said Gibson.

Forward Zach Manns, also out of NCAA Drexel and who led the Victoria Junior Shamrocks to the 2019 Minto Cup national Junior A final this summer, was selected in the second round by the Toronto Rock. The Junior Shamrocks’ standout goaltender Cam Dunkerley, who backstopped Victoria to the Minto Cup final, was taken in the third round by the Saskatchewan Rush. Kyle Dawson of the Nanaimo Junior Timbermen went in the third round to the San Diego Seals. Derek Lloyd of the Shamrocks, out of NCAA Stony Brook, went in the fourth-round to the Vancouver Warriors.

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