Thunder buck trend, take goalie second overall

The Langley Thunder added a little bit of everything in Tuesday night’s junior draft, even making the bold move of selecting a goaltender in the first round.

Brodie MacDonald was taken second overall in the Western Lacrosse Association’s annual draft, held in Burnaby.

Thunder general manager Gerry Van Beek said it has been years since a goalie went in the first round.

The earlier than normal selection of a netminder was just because of the way the Thunder brain trust thought the draft was shaping up, Van Beek said.

MacDonald, a rookie in the National Lacrosse League with the Philadelphia Wings, stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 260 pounds, so he should cover much of the net.

As for the rest of the draft, Langley added a little bit of everything.

Their second round selection was Jarrett Toll, who also plays in the NLL with the Edmonton Rush, as well as on the University of Alberta hockey team. He is a former Western Hockey League player who should bring leadership.

In the third round, Langley had two selections, Nikolas Bilic and Robert Danilkiewicz.

“Both are tough, aggressive, abrasive players,” Van Beek said. “It is going to put a little bit more sandpaper on the team.”

The team’s fourth-round pick, Darcy Cummings, is on the smaller side, but a “smart, shifty goal scorer” who should add offence.

The team’s other selections included: Simon Giourmetakis, Nickolas Benevoli, Curtis MacIntosh, Chase Porter, Curtis Sim, Braidy Webb and Kyle Kari.

Porter played last season for the junior A Langley Thunder.

The junior squad also had two others taken in the draft: Cadwell Rohrbach went to Nanaimo and Graham Chandler went to Surrey, both in the seventh round.

Rhodes joins coaching staff

The Thunder also filled the final hole on their coaching staff last week, adding former player Darcy Rhodes.

Rhodes, who played junior A lacrosse with the Port Coquitlam Saints and senior A with the Thunder and was captain with both teams, will be the team’s offence and strength and conditioning coach.

He joins head coach Rod Jensen and defence coaches Shaun Springett and Fred Klomp. Rhodes has played for all three at some point in his lacrosse career.

In 308 career games at the junior and senior levels, Rhodes amassed 183 goals and 479 points.

He is also the technical director for the B.C. Lacrosse Association, directing all coaching clinics, official clinics, Team BC programs, and regional coaches.

The Thunder begin their Western Lacrosse Association season in late May.

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