Raider grads drafted to pro ranks
Lacrosse: Four alumni of Okotoks Jr. A's scooped in NLL draft
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 06:00 am
Okotoks Jr. Raiders alumni had a field day at the National Lacrosse League entry draft last week.
Four former Raiders were selected into the professional ranks at the Sept. 16 draft in Toronto, including recent graduate Kevin Pym - the sixth round pick of the Buffalo Bandits.
“I didn’t think I was going to get drafted at all,” said Pym. “But Buffalo took a chance and I‘m hopefully going to prove myself out there.”
His father Dave Pym, the Raiders head coach, is the assistant coach western scout for the Bandits. Not that he had any input into his son’s selection.
“They didn’t even tell him. He had no idea,” Pym said. “When I got a call from their GM (Steve Dietrich) he was reassuring me that my dad had zero ties to the decision, which is kind of a boost for me.
“Having my dad coach me my whole career it’s kind of like ‘oh you’re on the team just because your dad is there’. That just gives me another reason to work my ass off and prove I belong.”
Pym will get that chance at the Bandits training camp this fall where he will be looking to showcase his best asset – speed to burn.
“I am my own worst enemy. So I’m going to be coming in as prepared as I can be and show them what I got,” Pym said. “Being drafted is definitely part of the dream, but the dream is still to get there.
“I wont celebrate until I’ve made it.”
The four-year Raider speedster closed out his Junior career by engineering his best season in Okotoks with 14 goals and 31 points while showing off his versatility in transition and defensive roles.
He credits the Junior A team for developing his game to a level worthy of a professional draftee.
“Being coached by all these different pro guys – Bruce Codd, Andrew McBride, Mark Scherman, all those guys has definitely helped me develop into the kind of player I am today,” he said.
Another fleet-footed Raider got the professional call on draft day.
The Philadelphia Wings added some scoring punch in the form of James Delaney, as they traded up to select the former Raider sniper 18th overall.
Delaney, an alumnus of the Seton Hill University field lacrosse program and Port Coquitlam, B.C. native, took the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League by storm in his two seasons with the Raiders (2011-12).
In his only full season with Okotoks, Delaney took home the league scoring and points title in 2012 with a staggering 53 goals and 102 points in just 16 games.
Since graduating from the Raiders program last summer, Delaney’s been shoring up his professional game in the Senior A Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) with the Coquitlam Adanacs and Nanaimo Timbermen.
Calgarian Jake Hayes won’t have to leave town to pursue his professional dream. The Calgary Roughnecks selected the diminutive attackman with their fifth round pick (43rd overall).
Hayes was a member of the Jr. Raiders from 2009-2011. He was third on the Raiders with 43 points in his final year in Okotoks.
He’s a graduate of the NCAA’s Robert Morris University Colonials, where he currently sits sixth in career goals (63) for the suburban Pittsburgh area program.
The Colorado Mammoth used their fourth round pick (31st overall) on former Raider and Ontario product Cody McMahon.
The Mammoth prospect enjoyed a short stint in Okotoks after being brought over in 2011 from Orangeville to beef up Okotoks’ pursuit of a Minto Cup in front of its hometown fans. He picked up 19 points in just nine games with Raider nation.
For more information on the Raiders go to raiderslacrosse.ca