WLA Season Preview: Burnaby Lakers

Photo Credit: Dan Brodie

Last season the Burnaby Lakers finished third in the regular season but they were outmatched in the playoffs when they faced off against the Victoria Shamrocks. The Shamrocks swept the Lakers in four games. This season Burnaby will be looking to improve upon their third-place finish and make a deeper run into the playoffs.

Last season Burnaby’s biggest problem was their inconsistent goaltending. Starter Dan Lewis had an 8-7 record with a 9.15 goals against average. Backup goalie Joe Bell played as well as he had a 2-1 record with a 11.62 goals against average.

Due to their goaltending struggle last season the Lakers decided to acquire Tyler Richards from the New Westminster Salmonbellies. Richards only played one game last season for the Salmonbelies. Richards in his last full season in the WLA in 2012 had an 8-7 record with 8.39 goals against average. If Richards can regain his form, the Lakers will be in good shape to make a run for first in the WLA.

Last season the Lakers offense was the third best in the WLA. This season the Lakers decided to add more depth as they signed Ilija and Alex Gajic from New Westminster. Ilija Gajic finished with 16 goals and 24 assists last season while his brother Alex put up five goals and 13 assists. The Lakers will hope that the Gajic brothers will give them some offensive depth for the 2014 season.

The Lakers offence will still revolve around Dane Stevens and Scott Jones. Stevens put up 81 points last season while Jones put up 65 points of his own as these two players carried the Burnaby offense. If Jones and Stevens can put up similar numbers this year the Lakers will have one of the best offences in the WLA. The Lakers will also be hoping for a big season from Robert Church who tore it up in the playoffs with 13 points in four games along with his strong play in the NLL this season where he put up 52 points with the Edmonton Rush. If the Lakers offence clicks it will be easy to see the Lakers terrorizing defences in the WLA this season.

The only thing that will stop the Lakers from a strong finish in the WLA this season will be  their goaltending. If Richards or Lewis can be solid in net night in and night out, the Lakers will have a successful season.