Sports

Thunder re-tool for upcoming season

Consider it mission accomplished.

“We accomplished at the draft what we wanted to do,” said Langley Thunder general manager Gerry Van Beek.

Van Beek said the senior A lacrosse club was looking to bolster their lineup — which captured the Western Lacrosse Association league championship in 2011 — with some youth and physicality.

The club added 10 players at Monday’s annual junior draft.

With the fifth overall pick, the Thunder grabbed Mark Matthews, a hulking forward from Ontario who is in his final year at the University of Denver. He led the team in scoring last year with 46 goals and 70 points.

Matthews played his junior with Coquitlam.

“He’s a phenomenal player who obviously knows how to score and he adds size to our offence,” Van Beek said.

The Thunder grabbed another Coquitlam junior player with their second round pick, taking runner Tor Reinholdt.

The team’s other picks included: Matthew MacGrotty, Leif Mydske, Patrick O’Meara, Steve Fryer, Myan Adams, Chancey Johnson and Graeme Stewart.

Of the 10, Van Beek expects at least half of those picks to play with the Thunder this season.

Langley begins its training camp in mid-April and the WLA season kicks off May 18. The Thunder home opener is May 23 at the Langley Events Centre.

•••••

A pair of Langley Jr. Thunder players were also selected in the draft.

Burnaby nabbed Colton Hayes in the second round while Maple Ridge selected Colton Porter in the sixth round.

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