A week after welcoming in a new crop of talent, the Delta Islanders will officially be saying goodbye to three of their best players in franchise history on Tuesday night.
The club stockpiled a number of prospects when the B.C. Junior "A" Lacrosse League conducted its midget draft for the first time in two years last Sunday. The Islanders will be in great shape if even one of those prospects can come close to the team's 2012 graduating class.
Logan Schuss, Mike Mallory and Cody Hawkins all had leading roles in Delta reaching last summer's league championship series. All three will be among the top selections in Monday's Western Lacrosse Association draft.
For Schuss, this will be his second draft in less than a month.
The homegrown product, who is in his senior year playing field lacrosse at Ohio State University, was selected 11th overall by the Ohio Machine in Major Lacrosse League collegiate draft. Schuss will have to fulfill is committed with the Buckeyes before joining the Machine.
He has put up huge numbers during his three years at the Columbus, Ohio campus, earning Third-Team All-American honours as a junior. His career point totals (165) currently sits fourth all-time in school history. He will begin the 2013 campaign as team co-captain and riding a 45-game point streak.
Schuss very well could be the first overall pick in the WLA draft. The only concern is the pro field lacrosse season runs head-to-head with the WLA's campaign. However, it's also hard to ignore what he has done in the box version of the sport, leading the Islanders in playoff scoring last year with 53 points in 10 games.
"This draft has great top end offensive players," said Islanders coach Shaun Springett. "When you look at what Logan did up here in limited time, that's a special talent. He is the only lefty of the group so it could be the difference too if that's what a team is looking for.
Mallory won the BCJALL most valuable player award and joins Coquitlam's Robert Church and Ben McIntosh as the top right-handers in the draft. Teams looking to shore up their defence will have Islanders captain Cody Hawkins near the top of their list. The Ladner native was named the league's top defensive player.
Meanwhile, the Islanders went with a right-handed goal scorer in the league midget draft, selecting Richmond's Chandler Bradley seventh overall. Other picks included Patrick Szabo (Surrey), Wyatt Peters (Abbotsford), Liame Wiebe (Surrey), Shawana Baker (Richmond), William Nomura (Surrey) and Liam Fisher (North Shore).
Peters played under Tim Winter for Delta's top midget team last year. Winter is now head coach of the Islanders intermediate "A" squad and was part of the club's midget draft selection committee that also included newly-appointed head scout Bruce Davidson and Richmond Intermediate "A" head coach Greg Rennie.
Boxla Bits... The Islanders have rounded out their coaching staff with the addition of John Wilson as an offensive assistant. He previously worked with Springett on the WLA Langley Thunder's coaching staff. Wilson was also teammates with defensive coach AJ Smith when Coquitlam won the Mann Cup back in 2001.
For the past two seasons, Wilson served as head coach of the Burnaby Junior Lakers.