On Monday September 18th, the 2017 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft took place at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre. Along with the usual surprises and disappointments common at any draft, some local history was made that night, as 3 local Ottawa players were selected in the first 16 picks.
The first Ottawa player selected was Elite Performance Academy athlete JP Kealey, taken by the New England Black Wolves with the #10 pick. Next up was another Elite Performance Academy athlete, Ryan Fournier, taken at #12 by the Vancouver Stealth. Rounding out the Ottawa selections was Nick Finlay to the Saskatchewan Rush at #16.
All 3 players have been a part of the Ottawa Capitals Lacrosse Club and been coached by Elite Performance Academy athlete Callum Crawford, now a member of the Buffalo Bandits. To say it was a big day for Ottawa Lacrosse is an understatement, and that fact was recognized by InsideLacrosse.com in it's post-draft analysis:
The Capital Gains
Speaking of Buchanan, the Nepean native is one of a handful of NLL players hailing from the Ottawa region. That handful swelled substantially with the selection of Kealey, Ryan Fournier and Finlay on Monday. It was a big day for the Canadian capital to see all three taken in the first 16 picks of the draft. There are plenty of people working behind the scenes to grow the game in the area, including Buffalo Bandits' forward Callum Crawford.
The EPA Family is extremely proud of JP, Ryan and Callum's accomplishment, and are looking forward to seeing all 3 of them in NLL action this season.
Photo credits: John Sokolowski