Brooklin Trades Rights Of Veteran Goalie To Peterborough

By Sam Laskaris

The Brooklin Lacrosse Club will have a somewhat different look between the pipes this coming season.

That’s because it was announced on Wednesday that the Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) squad has traded the playing rights of veteran goalie Mike Poulin to the two-time defending Mann Cup champions, the Peterborough Lakers.

In return for trading away Poulin’s playing rights, Brooklin acquired the Lakers’ first-round picks in both the 2021 and 2022 MSL Entry Drafts. The deal comes a few days after Brooklin sent the playing rights of three players - Lyle Thompson, Miles Thompson and Kevin Brownell – to the Six Nations Chiefs for as many as seven draft picks in the coming years.

Brooklin general manager Brad MacArthur believes stockpiling draft picks for individuals that were unlikely to don his team’s jersey in the forseeable future is a good move. “The next couple of upcoming drafts have some pretty strong players,” he said. “This gives us a lot more flexibility and freedom.” MacArthur added should Brooklin choose to do so it could trade away some of its draft picks for talent that could help the team more immediately.

Poulin, 33, had spent the past six years starring for Brooklin. He’s also a stellar netminder in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) with the Georgia Swarm. MacArthur said Poulin, a Kitchener resident who has a young family, had informed him more than a year ago that the 2018 campaign would in all likelihood be his last in the MSL.

“His plan was to not play (this year),” MacArthur said of Poulin. “That’s what he told us, and we had discussed a couple times. Some things have come up on Mike's end where he thought it might be good to get game action this summer, but we've made commitments to Zach (Higgins) and Riley (Hutchcraft), and have an eye to our youth.” Though it is probably doubtful he would play the entire 2019 season, the Lakers are hoping the possibility of winning a Mann Cup championship will appeal to Poulin and that he will suit up for them during portions of the year.

“We wish Mike all the best. He's a very genuine individual and we were lucky to have such a guy here in Brooklin. Mike and I were teammates once upon a time, and it has been a pleasure to work with him.” MacArthur said. Despite trading Poulin’s rights, Brooklin will still have a pair of goalies with NLL experience guarding its nets this coming season.

Higgins, a 28-year-old who has played for Brooklin the last seven years, is also a member of the NLL’s Buffalo Bandits. And Hutchcraft, who has suited up for the NLL’s Toronto Rock the last two seasons, is entering his rookie season with Brooklin. Hutchcraft, who turns 22 on June 5, was selected by Brooklin in the first round, third over-all, in the MSL Entry Draft held this past January.

Higgins and his Bandits’ teammates are hoping to win the NLL title this year. Buffalo is currently squaring off against the Calgary Roughnecks in the league’s best-of-three championship final series. Calgary won Game 1 of that series 10-7 in Buffalo this past Saturday. The Roughnecks are hosting the next match, this Saturday. “He’s part of a team competing for a championship and it’s a good experience for him,” MacArthur said of Higgins.

MacArthur is also excited to see how Hutchcraft, a former star with the Mimico Mountaineers’ Junior A squad, will perform in the MSL. “He’s a good young goalie with tremendous upside” he said.

Brooklin is scheduled to commence its regular season on June 2 on the road against the Cobourg Kodiaks. Brooklin’s home opener, on June 5, will also be against the Kodiaks. That match, at Whitby’s Iroquois Park Sports Centre, is slated to begin at 8 p.m.