Draft replay for Merrill clan

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 6:56 AM ET

"Pretty cool."

That's how Brodie Merrill reacted after being the second member of his family to be the first pick in the NLL entry draft.

Three years ago, the Toronto Rock made his brother, Patrick Merrill, the top choice. Last night at Rexall Place, Brodie was nabbed by the Portland LumberJax, the rival expansion team to the Edmonton Rush.

"It's a great opportunity to be part of something new," said Merrill, a six-foot-four, 205-pound defenceman from Georgetown University. "I hope I can be one of the key guys that we can build the franchise around."

Merrill's father, Peter, starred as a quarterback for the University of New Brunswick and went on to try out for the Edmonton Eskimos in the early 1970s.

The elder Merrill, who was an assistant coach when the NLL had a franchise in Montreal, will certainly be an eager viewer when the LumberJax and Rock hook up.

"It'll be a weird situation. My brother and I are both the same type of aggressive player. If we go at each other, our mom's not going to like that," said Merrill.

As expected, the Rush traded their first pick in the draft, the 14th overall selection, when they picked Mike McLellan of Mercyhurst College and shipped him and the 31st pick to Arizona.

The transaction completed a deal worked out between the clubs during the expansion draft.

The Rush chose local product Greg Whitenect with the 24th pick.

Whitenect, captain of the Edmonton Miners squad currently competing in the Minto Cup, notched 15 goals and 15 assists in 19 games during the regular season.

With the 30th pick, the Rush grabbed Victoria junior Shane Pederson, a six-foot-two, 200-pound forward who had 49 points in 21 games.

Edmonton rounded out its selections with All-American defenceman Brad Rennie from Elmira University, Miners goalie Jon Maresse, scrappy forward Aaron Davis from Coquitlam and 20-year-old Peterborough junior Kyle Dupont.


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