Lakers draft two

The Peterborough Century 21 Lakers added two new team members on Thursday night through the annual Major Series Lacrosse entry draft.

Thomas Whitty and John Vezina were the Lakers’ selections at the draft held virtually through Zoom with management from each team in attendance.

“We didn’t expect to get Whitty,” Lakers’ general manager Paul Day stated. “He was an NLL regular in Rochester as a 20-year old. We had him as one of the top defensemen available. He can step in right away.”

Whitty said he was thrilled to be drafted by the Lakers, where he will reunite with Knighthawks’ teammates Shawn and Turner Evans and Holden Cattoni, as well as head coach Mike Hasen.

“The Lakers are one of the most historic franchises in the MSL and I’m looking forward to the competition,” Whitty said. “Because of the pandemic, it’s been a long time since I’ve played lacrosse so I’m looking forward to getting back to the guys, back to some new faces and back to work. I’m a pretty communicative defender; I’m always active. I’ve started to push the ball a little more in transition after some experience from the NLL.”

Vezina played most of his junior career with the Halton Hills Bulldogs Jr. B, but spent much of 2019 with the Brampton Excelsiors Jr. A club. He played one MSL game with the Senior Excelsiors, and it happened to be against the Lakers in the playoffs, where he scored a hat trick.

“I remember scoring a couple of goals against Matt Vinc,” Vezina said. “It feels amazing to be drafted by such a legendary organization. I’m excited to have an opportunity to play with the best. I can bring, like Paul said, my size and presence in front of the net but also my offensive game in tight.”

The draft consisted of five rounds of six picks each. The Lakers held an extra pick in the fourth round and one in the fifth round, but both were traded for future picks. Prior to the draft, the Lakers sent two third round picks to Owen Sound for a second round pick in 2023.

The Lakers were without a first round pick after trading it to Brooklin for Mike Poulin.

They also protected two graduating Jr. Lakers: captain Mitch Ogilvie and Cal Davis.

Whitty, Vezina, Ogilvie and Davis will be competing for roster spots with last year’s picks and protected players, since the 2020 season was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

Last year the Lakers protected Taite Cattoni and Drew Hutchison and drafted Matt Smith, Travis Brown, and Keaton Thomson.

Plans for a 2021 MSL season have not yet been unveiled.