Brooklin Lacrosse Club Selects Seven Players In MSL Entry Draft

By Sam Laskaris

Jon Donville had a pretty good idea which team was going to select him in the Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) Entry Draft on Monday.

But Donville was surprised he was chosen first over-all in the draft by the Brooklin Lacrosse Club.

The five-round draft, which saw 30 players selected, was held in Peterborough.

Donville, who is from Oakville, had spent the majority of his five-season Junior A career with the Mimico Mountaineers. But he was traded to the Orangeville Northmen late in the 2019 campaign.

Donville ended up helping the Northmen capture the national Junior A title, the Minto Cup, this past August. He was selected as the MVP at the Canadian championships, after scoring a whopping 39 points (19 goals and 20 assists) in six matches.

Donville said he had some phone conversations with Brooklin head coach/general manager Brad MacArthur prior to the draft. As a result he had a good inkling it would be the brass of the Brooklin side calling his name at the draft.

Brooklin had three first-round selections.

“I knew they had a lot of picks at the top,” Donville said, adding he had not been told Brooklin was considering taking him first over-all. “I’m just super excited it was Brooklin that drafted me.”

Donville, who turns 22 on Feb. 4, is currently in his third season of playing field lacrosse at Harvard University.

At this point Donville is not quite sure how often he will get to suit up for the Brooklin organization in 2020. That’s because he’s currently exploring various job opportunities for the summer. Some of the work he is considering is in the U.S.

“Whenever I have the opportunity to be home and play, I will be there,” Donville said. “If I do get the chance to play for Brooklin, hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.”

Donville is well acquainted with not only MacArthur but also with Jason Crosbie, Brooklin’s assistant coach. Crosbie is also the head coach of Brooklin’s Senior B affiliate, the Oshawa-based Merchants Lacrosse Club, which MacArthur is also the general manager of.

Back when he was in the Midget ranks Donville suited up for Team Ontario, which won a national title. Crosbie was the head coach of the team while MacArthur was an assistant coach.

Donville would welcome the opportunity to play for the pair again, whether for the Brooklin squad or its affiliate Merchants.

“I trust Brad and coach Crosbie,” Donville said. “I would consider anything they think is best for my development.”

Meanwhile, Brooklin selected another Minto Cup champion, Ty Thompson, with the fourth pick over-all. Thompson, currently playing field lacrosse at Hartford University, spent the past five seasons starring with the Nepean Knights’ Junior B squad.

But Thompson was an affiliate player for the Northmen this past season. At the national tournament he earned 21 points, including six goals, in six games with the Orangeville squad.

Brooklin then scooped up netminder Nick Damude, from the St. Catharines Athletics’ Junior A team, with the fifth pick over-all in the draft.

Besides making a name for himself in the junior ranks in recent years, Damude is also proving he belongs in the pro ranks. He’s a rookie with the National Lacrosse League’s San Diego Seals and is sporting a 9.24 goals-against average in his first three appearances this season.

Damude was obviously hoping to be chosen in Monday’s MSL draft. But he wasn’t expecting to hear his name called so early.

“No, not really,” he said of whether he thought he’d be a first-round pick. “Fifth over-all though was definitely nice to see.”

Damude was also pleased to be chosen by Brooklin.

“I know they have a lot of history with the team,” he said. “And the new rebranding last year was really cool.”

The franchise, previously called the Brooklin Redmen, changed its name to simply Brooklin Lacrosse Club and adopted a pair of new logos prior to the 2019 campaign.

Brooklin also selected four others in the draft.

Corson Kealey and Justin Inacio were both chosen in the third round, 13th and 14th over-all. Kealey is a product of the Toronto Beaches Junior A squad while Inacio toiled at the Junior A level with the Burlington Chiefs.

Brooklin then stayed close to home with its next selection, drafting Matt Boissonneault from the Whitby Warriors’ Junior A club, in the fourth round, 19th over-all.

And then in the fifth round Brooklin chose Bryce Tolmie, who was the captain of the Clarington-based Green Gaels’ Junior B squad in 2019.

Tolmie appeared in three playoff contests for the Merchants last season after the Green Gaels’ season concluded. He earned five points, including four goals, in those games.