By Kevin Brown Herald Writer
The Washington Stealth didn’t have to burn a lot of frequent flyer miles to find the players they wanted in this year’s National Lacrosse League draft.
Of the Stealth’s four picks in Wednesday’s talent grab, three hail from Coquitlam, B.C., a two-hour drive from the Stealth’s home base in Everett.
“We obviously wanted to have kids from the West,” Stealth general manager Doug Locker said. “It just so happened that a lot of our interest was in the Coquitlam group.”
Three of the Stealth’s selections — defenseman David Joyce (third round) and goaltenders Chris Seidel (fifth) and Dan Lewis (sixth) — played for the Coquitlam Adanacs, who last month won the Minto Cup, Canada’s junior A national championship.
In the fourth round, Washington tabbed University of Virginia All-America midfielder Brian Carroll. The Stealth did not have a first- or second-round pick because of previous trades.
Joyce, 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, comes highly recommended by current Stealth defenseman Matt Beers, who played with Joyce in Coquitlam.
“We like his size,” Stealth coach Chris Hall said of Joyce. “He has a basketball background so he has good footwork. He’s kind of a late bloomer in lacrosse.”
A left-hander, Joyce scored 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 21 regular-season games with the Adanacs.
“I’m very excited for the chance to play at the next level,” Joyce said in a statement released by the Stealth. ““Seeing Matt have a lot of success with the Stealth last season really motivated me to improve this year.”
The Stealth wanted to add a goalie in the draft, but didn’t expect Lewis to last until the third round, so they set their sights on one of his backups, Seidel.
“He was the third goalie on their roster, but we liked him a lot,” Hall said. “We talked (to Seidel before the draft) about his role, We didn’t want to create any unrealistic expectations. This is a spot where you’re clearly going to be a third goalie (behind veterans Tyler Richards and Matt Roik).”
Convinced Seidel could handle the job, the Stealth chose him in the fifth round only to see Lewis still on the board a round later.
“This was a guy who was ranked in the top 20 (going into the draft) …,” Hall said. “It was a no-brainer.”
Seidel posted a 5.90 goals against average and .823 save percentage for the Adanacs over the summer. Lewis had a 6.36 goals against average and .832 save percentage in the regular season, then led the Adanacs to the national title. He posted an 8.24 goals against average and .806 save percentage in the Minto Cup tournament and was named the tourney MVP by NLL.insider.
Carroll, 6-1 and 210 pounds, was a three-time All-ACC selection. He scored 40 points (26 goals, 14 assists) in his senior season as Virginia made a run to the 2010 NCAA Final Four.
Hall said Carroll, a right-hander, has the ability to develop into an offensive transition player.
“He has real quick wrists and a Howitzer of a shot,” Hall said.
In joining the defending NLL champs, the four rookies have their work cut out for them.
“It’s going to be a tough roster to crack,” Hall said, “but there are going to be battles for jobs.”
For Herald writer Mark Nelson’s Stealth blog, click here.