Roughnecks quiet at draft table

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

While other teams were trying to add young talent to their rosters last night, Brad Banister just waited.

The Calgary Roughnecks weren't big players at the National Lacrosse League draft, but that's fitting of a championship club.

In winning the Champion's Cup in May, the Riggers proved to be the deepest group in the league, and the majority of the veteran roster is expected to return.

So after filling the hole vacated by Curt Malawsky's retirement by landing 25-year-old righty Craig Conn from the Toronto Rock Tuesday in a trade for his first-round pick, Banister sat by yesterday and watched other teams try to fill their needs with prospects.

With the 27th-overall pick, the Riggers owner and general manager took Carlton Schuss, a left-handed forward out of Delta, B.C.

Schuss played with the Edmonton Eclipse in junior but is likely a year away from playing in the NLL.

"Since we did the trade, we got a better guy than we would have picked at 11," Banister said. "We didn't have much to do.

"Carleton is a nasty, tall forward with a mean streak. He's a good player but he has another year of junior left, so if we can hang on to him for a bit, he can help us down the road.

"He should be able to free up some room for Josh Sanderson and some of our other lefties."

In the six rounds of the draft, the Roughnecks only had three picks. They took Calgary Raiders products with the 51st selection (defender Garrett Werschke) and 62nd pick (transition Casey MacIntyre).

"We're a pretty strong team and it's hard to pick anybody there who will make a huge impact," Banister said.

"We want to continue to build the local talent and give them a stepping stone to get to the next level."

With the first two picks, the Rochester Knighthawks took Sid Smith out of Syracuse University and Ilija Gajic from Denver University.

Calgarian Bobby Snider, who went to Bellarmine University, was taken 16th overall to join his brother Geoff with the Philadelphia Wings.

The Roughnecks open the season Sunday, Jan. 10 in a matinee tilt at the Dome, when they host the Minnesota Swarm.

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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