For a veteran like Daryl Veltman, home is all about comfort zone.
The veteran box star has settled in quickly back in B.C. with a new team, the Burnaby Lakers, in his return to the Western Lacrosse Association.
Coquitlam Adanacs fans will remember the soft-spoken, red-headed sniper for timely goals and an easy smile.
It may look strange to see the 33-year-old in Lakers green, but the one-time Adanac floor leader is not your typical sniper-for-hire. His arrival in Burnaby this spring, after two years back in his native Ontario, was pure happenstance.
“I’ve only played with (Pete) McFetridge before, but I know a lot of them from playing against them for many years. It’s just great to be back and playing again,” said Veltman of his new teammates on the Lakers.
With a 13-year senior career, and a lengthy 10-year run in the National Lacrosse League, the left-handed shot has demonstrated an ability to fit in with his surroundings.
And what he likes so far about the Lakers is just how the synchronicity has come easily, he said.
“That first game (of the season) you’ve obviously got to get that monkey off our backs and the rust out,” he said of resuming his WLA career.
It was 12 seasons ago when Veltman came to Coquitlam, a recruit by the late Les Wingrove.
He arrived from Ontario in 2007 fresh out of junior lacrosse, joining his brother Peter, who came a year earlier, to play for Wingrove’s Adanacs. The nephew of hall of famer Jim Veltman, the younger brother quickly established roots. He stuck with Coquitlam even after his brother left in 2011, but remained until traded to Victoria in 2015.
That led to a career highlight – helping the Shamrocks win the Mann Cup. He’d love nothing better than get that done in Burnaby, too.
“Obviously the love of the sport drives you back every time,” he said. “We have a great team this year and we’re going to push for that.”
After leaving Victoria with his Mann Cup goal achieved, Veltman returned home to Ontario to play for Brampton. It was a good two years, he said, but in the end it became clear that east is east and west is best.
“Being back in B.C. and playing in the WLA feels great. My wife and I decided that Ontario wasn’t for us. B.C. has had its hooks into me ever since I moved out here 14 years ago in ‘07,” he noted.
Veltman has made himself at home and proven to be as sharp offensively as he was when he last helped a B.C. team go on a win streak. But he notes, with a grin, that others know just how much of a veteran he is.