Each year, hundreds of Canadian box lacrosse players take to the floor to compete for a spot on one of the 19 Junior A teams in British Columbia and Ontario.
We are deep into the offseason now, with the NLL season just around the corner, we thought that it would be a good idea to take a look at the next up and coming players to watch in the BC Junior A and Ontario Junior A leagues.
Here are the top three players from each league to keep your eye on in the 2015 season:
1)Connor Robinson, New Westminster Salmonbellies
Robinson led the league last year for the Bellies posting 104 points in 21 games. This six-foot, 220 pounder has great touch in tight on the goal. His off ball knowledge and determination of loose balls makes him one of the most dominating players in the game. Robinson was named a First Team all star, as well as being runner up for player of the year. Robinson is currently attending High Point University in North Carolina.
2) Cole Pickup, Victoria Shamrocks
Pickup appeared in 18 games for the Shamrocks, he recorded 32 goals and 39 assists for 71 points along with 79 minutes in penalties. He was named a BCJALL First Team All-Star and Victoria Shamrocks Rookie of the Year. The six-foot, 175 pounder, focuses on using his speed, agility, eye hand coordination and the physical aspects to help create room for himself on the floor.
3) Johnny Pearson, New Westminster Salmonbellies
Pearson appeared in 19 games in 2014 with the Salmonbellies, recording 43 goals, 39 assists for 82 points along with 50 minutes in penalties. He was acquired from the Langley Thunder before the 2014 season, after playing the 2013 season as an under-aged call up, where he finished third in Junior A team scoring with 29 goals and 24 assists in just 15 league games. He is currently attending Ohio State University on a field lacrosse scholarship. Joining Robinson will allow for this sniper to really create some problems for goalies this upcoming season.
1) Austin Staats, Six Nations Arrows
Staats appeared in 19 games with the Arrows last season, tallying for 41 goals, 37 assists, and 78 points. He led the Arrows with 78 points in the regular season; he did it with a smooth style and authoritative flair. With being only 16 years old, and already having this much success at the Junior A level, Staats is a MUST watch this season. Staats was named Inside Lacrosse’s rookie of the year.
2) Jeff Teat, Brampton Excelsiors
Teat appeared in 19 games with the Excelsiors, scoring 35 goals, 54 assists for 89 points in his rookie campaign. Teat is a shifty playmaker that can finish when in tight. He has already committed to play for Cornell in the 2016 season. Teat was runner-up, along with Pickup, to Staats for Rookie of the Year. This 17-year-old promises to bring an exciting offensive touch to Brampton for the seasons to come.
3) Connor Brown, Orangeville Northmen
Brown appeared in 20 games for the Northmen last season, he was able to use his physical style of play to chip in for 34 goals, 49 assists making a total of 83 points. Along with that Brown had 105 PIMs making him one of our more physical players to watch this upcoming season. Look for Brown to really build on last year’s campaign with him now being one of the leaders on the Northmen.
All these players will for sure have a large impact on the 2015 season,. They were all leaders this past season and given a larger role, we can only expect to see great things from these six individuals.