Before getting to the Tier 1 draft held on March 16th, one must tip their cap to the Fort Saskatchewan Rebels for stealing the show at the previously held Alberta Series Lacrosse draft. The first five picks of the newly re-branded Sr B division all came from the Rebels:
- Ethan Eang (Warriors)
- Spencer Milne (Miners)
- Jordan Diewert (Warriors)
- Markus Fouillard (Warriors)
- Ethan Wong (Warriors)
Tyler Cole would be drafted 9th overall by the Miners and Jackson Freeman would be drafted 13th overall by the Warriors.
With 7 players “aging out”, you already know when I reached out to Rebels Manager Dave McGarva for a comment about his team’s Tier 1 Draft class that I would ask if the Club was going into a rebuild.
During the “Draft Lottery” to determine the draft order, the Rebels chose to give up first overall pick and slotted themselves second. On draft day the Rebels traded that pick to the Outlaws for a 2022 1st and 3rd round pick.
With the 7th overall pick the Rebels selected Jackson Porter. Porter is the only player drafted by the Rebels that was also drafted by a Jr A team (Miners). Here is Mr. McGarva to explain the rest:
“It was a really good night from our perspective.
Moving our first round pick was a good decision. The higher selected picks are often difficult. These are players that may have an immediate opportunity to play Junior A and given the uncertainty of having a season, we reasoned that there is an even higher likelihood of some of them moving up before we get a chance to have them in the line up. As well, we have had our eye on next year’s eligible players for some time and think that two picks in the first round will be highly advantageous.
Our selections this year were more difficult than ever as we have had a very limited ability to scout this crop because of last year’s lost season. We relied strongly on some external advice but mostly on the personal knowledge of Head Coach Darren Bourret and Assistant Jamie Blanchard. Both have coached this generation of kids in the past.
As usual, our criteria not only includes skill but more so coachability, potential for growth and the probability of buying into the Rebels’ philosophy. We do our homework. We know what these kids bring and have a good idea of their potential. We also place an emphasis on families. We are a demanding organization and we draft great families that will support the Rebels’ ideals. I think that the coaches knocked it out of the park with this group.
Interesting that you would ask if we are rebuilding. While we lost a great deal of talent through aging out, we don’t believe in the philosophy that you have to go to the bottom to get to the top. A bit cliche but I prefer to think of it as a reload rather than a rebuild. We still have a great core of talent – (Eric) George, (Josh) McCallion, (Carson) Theriault, (Carter) Albrecht, (Kaiden) Collumb, (Jackson) Deweerd, (Ryan) Wilson, (Jack) Marlow and (Ethan) Pedersen – and are very high on the 2020 Draft Class. We believe that a number of them can slot in right away -(Seth) Fairholm, (Blake) Irwin, (Fraser) Berrett, (Nigel) Dufton and (Carter) McAdam. We have also had a strong history of being able to add in a couple of free agents. I think that we will be just fine.
Success for us is doing the right things within the right culture. Wins are the byproduct of that success.”
Thank you Mr. McGarva for the insight to what should be a wonderful season…if and when it starts.