Tuesday’s National Lacrosse League draft in Philadelphia was a Kodak moment for Port Coquitlam’s Ryland Rees.
The transition player, who played most of his junior lacrosse with the PoCo Saints of the BC Junior A Lacrosse League before he was traded to the Coquitlam Adanacs late in the 2018 season, was drafted second overall by the expansion Rochester Knighthawks (The Knighthawks had previously been a member of the NLL, but the team moved to Halifax in the off-season, where it will operate as the Thunderbirds, and a new franchise was awarded to Rochester under new ownership but with the same nickname).
Rees told the Pro Lacrosse Talk podcast that he was looking forward to playing with the newly-minted team in Rochester, N.Y., which was once the corporate headquarters to the giant film and imaging company.
“I’m excited for the experience and I’ll work as hard as I can,” he said.
Rees played last summer with the Western Lacrosse Association’s Burnaby Lakers, which had selected him second overall in that league’s draft last winter. He scored four goals and added two assists in nine games with the Lakers.
Rees also played professional outdoor lacrosse last spring with the Boston Cannons, of the Major Lacrosse League, where he was an all-star after finishing his college career at Stony Brook University in Long Island, N.Y. He had 22 points in 51 college games, collected 164 loose balls, caused 60 turnovers and earned America East first team All-Conference honours in his junior season
In 2018, Rees had a breakout year. He helped the Coquitlam Adanacs win a Minto Cup national junior championship and he also represented Canada at the world field lacrosse championships in Israel.
Another former Coquitlam Adanac, Haiden Dickson, who was acquired by the team at last summer’s trade deadline, was drafted eighth overall by the Calgary Roughnecks. The right-shooting forward had 11 points in two regular season games with the Adanacs, and added another 29 points in 11 playoff games.
Other locals selected in the draft were Port Coquitlam’s Keegan Bell and Gord Phillips, who were both picked up by the Vancouver Warriors, in the fifth and sixth rounds respectively.