Tier 1 Edmonton Warriors Head Coach Daniel Clark enters his third season at the helm. Like every coach in the lacrosse world he hopes to actually get to coach games in 2021. He was kind enough to speak with me about his Club’s 2021 player draft plus tackle a bonus question about the Jr A and Tier 1 draft overlap.
The floor is yours Mr. Clark:
“Up until two years ago, Edmonton had two Junior A teams which have since amalgamated. At that time the likelihood of a junior player moving up was greatly enhanced. A player making the A team in his first two years would be an outlier not a regularity. Always more of an educated guess, gotta analyze what the A roster is, how many graduated and where their needs are. This year the Miners lost 4 players, 2 goalies and 2 runners.
Specifically for us, the draft didn’t unfold the way we anticipated. We were very happy to get Graham Dicken at number 3. Graham is tall, athletic, righty forward. A position where we can potentially graduate players to A, i was very happy to add Graham to get some depth up front on the right hand side.
In the second we had two picks thanks to a 2019 trade deadline deal. With the first of those two picks we selected Caden Gulka. Caden is the most athletic player in the draft. Currently attending school in Pennsylvania playing field lacrosse. Right-handed transition player who I see making an impact all over the floor.
With our second second round pick we selected Benjamin Royer. We already have Joe Royer who is the oldest and is Ben’s cousin. Joe’s brother is Luke. Luke is the same age as Jack whom we drafted last year. Jack is Ben’s older brother. Terry, our offensive co-ordinator and director of scouting, is Ben and Jack’s dad. Ben is a left-handed offensive player, he is small in statue about 5’5 120 but plays like he is 6’1 220. Ben’s a “Royer”, his size does not reflect how hard he plays the game. He loves the game, I only see him getting better. It’s rare to see a kid with his natural feel for the game.
Danny Fehr is about 5’10, 190, left handed. See him starting out the back gate playing defense. Consistent, every rep of every practice…every shift of the every game he is going to compete to the best of his ability.
Joseph Lemieux joins his brother Adam and distant cousin Alex on our program. Joseph is 6’4 180 pounds, left handed, i see him starting on defense with room for growth in the future. Great athlete for his size, phenomenal attitude which is no surprise.
Dylan Biddiscombe and Justin Bondy-Jennings were both selected from the Westlock Rock program. Same program our captain, Blair Boulerice, came from. The Westlock program is a slightly lower level of midget because of a lesser pool of kids to draw from but the kids that come from their always have the great work ethic that I value. Interesting to see how they perform when the level steps up.
8th rounder Dalyn Hepburn from Lloydminster, as a first year midget he played 10 games and had 15 points playing for a good tier two program where he was helping out at all ends of the floor.
Jack Gordon and Will Carry round out our draft class. Jack is a fairly tall and fairly athletic goalie. I think his game has a chance to transition nicely to the larger nets. Will is a left handed offensive player, nice set of hands and plays larger than his size. Younger Brother of assistant player Coleman.”
The only way to finish this article is to segregate Mr. Clark’s final comment to me and allow it to stand on its own:
“The draft order only matters on one day, I’m interested to reflect on the draft in five years time”.