Sam Clare is headed to the Lone Star State after being selected by the Panther City Lacrosse Club in Tuesday’s National Lacrosse League Expansion Draft.
The 27-year-old defender made his debut in the NLL as a member of the Vancouver Warriors during the 2019/20 campaign that was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league is expected to be back in full operation for a 2021/22 season.
Clare made eight appearances with the Warriors, scoring twice and adding eight assists while scooping 30 loose balls.
He spent his entire box lacrosse career as a forward before making the move to the back end of the floor about four years ago as a member of the senior “B” Ladner Pioneers. It paved the way for him to sign with the Western Lacrosse Association’s Burnaby Lakers and also enjoyed a stint back east in the American Lacrosse League. He signed with the Warriors in August 2019.
Two other players with local connections were also selected by Panther City.
Goaltender and Ontario native Kevin Orleman backstopped the Delta Islanders to its first and only B.C. Junior “A” Lacrosse League championship back in 2016. He had been with the Georgia Swarm.
Meanwhile, well-travelled veteran Ryan Benesch is making the move from Halifax to Fort Worth.
One of the NLL’s most prolific scorers joined the Ladner Pioneers for their run to the President’s Cup in 2019.
The Kitchener, ON product has 451 goals, 610 assists in his 14-year NLL career.
He is one of just 10 players in league history to surpass the 1,000 point milestone.