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Thunder happy with draft results

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Brandon Goodwin may have been the last pick of the first round, but Langley Thunder general manager Gerry Van Beek begs to differ.

"We thought it might be a possibility (he would fall to us)," Van Beek said on Tuesday morning, the day after the senior A Western Lacrosse Association held their annual junior draft.

"We had our fingers crossed."

"He is a phenomenal left-handed offensive player,"

The draft, for players born in 1991 and done their junior eligibility,  was held at the Langley Events Centre for the first time.

"In a typical draft, he would be a top 3 pick," Van Beek said of this year's deep draft.

In his opinion, everyone knew who would be the top seven first round picks, but the order was the only thing in question.

Goodwin played his junior A lacrosse with New Westminster, but also played for the Salmonbellies senior A squad a few years back as an underage player against Langley and left a lasting impression.

During the 2011 playoffs against Langley, Goodwin had a dozen points in six games.

Goodwin, a six-foot-one 190-pounder, had 26 goals and 46 points in just 13 games with the Jr. Salmonbellies.

Goodwin was one of seven players drafted by the Thunder, the two-time WLA defending league champions.

In the second round, the club picked up Trent Hawke, a defender from the Coquitlam Jr. Adanacs.

"He is a tough, tenacious defender," Van Beek predicted. "He is WLA-ready as a defender,"

In the fourth round, Langley picked up Hawke's Coquitlam teammate, fellow defender Hugh Weir.

Playing on a stacked Jr. Adanacs team, Van Beek said Weier was a little under the radar compared to his teammates.

"I don't think he got all the accolades that he deserved," he said.

"We think he should be able to make some noise in the WLA."

The fifth round saw the team select James Jackson, an offensive player from the Langley Jr. Thunder.

"He is going to score some goals, but he has some learning to do," Van Beek said.

The team's sixth round pick was another Coquitlam defender, Kevin Shoemaker.

Shoemaker will not join the team until 2014, however, as he rehabs from an injury.

"He probably would have been drafted a lot higher, except he was in rehab," Van Beek said.

"A real sharp and tenacious athlete."

Keenan Lambright, a goalie from the Jr. Thunder — and product of the Langley Minor Lacrosse Association — was taken in the seventh round while the team's last pick was Scott Muscroft in round eight.

The Thunder know Lambright well as he has practised with Langley the past couple of seasons.

"It is going to be tough to unseat the incumbents, but he is going to give it a go," Van Beek said.

Muscroft played both junior A and senior A with Coquitlam and is described as a big, strong defensive player.

"I think he might be a bit of a diamond in the rough," Van Beek said of Muscroft.

•••••

In addition to Jackson and Lambright, the Jr. Thunder program had five other players drafted on Monday night.

Jaedon Gastaldo was the top selection, going in the second round to Maple Ridge.

Coquitlam selected Colton Dow in the second round while Brian Gillis (Burnaby) and Patrick Bayliss (Coquitlam) both went in round six. And Dayton Pagliericci (Maple Ridge) went in round seven.

•••••

Langley begins their quest for a three-peat on May 19 in Maple Ridge.

That is the Western Lacrosse Association season opener for the Langley Thunder, the two-time defending senior A lacrosse champions.

The team plays its first home game at the Langley Events Centre on May 22 in a rematch of last season's WLA championship series against the Coquitlam Adanacs.

The Thunder won that series in six games.

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