SEVEN MEMBERS OF BROOKLIN LACROSSE CLUB ORGANIZATION SELECTED IN NLL DRAFT
By Sam Laskaris
During the recent Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) Classic, there was plenty of talk of how bright the future is for the Brooklin Lacrosse Club. Showcasing some of its recent draft picks and protected players it has assembled the past couple of years, Brooklin had some dominating performances at the Classic, racking up a 7-1 record to finish atop the tournament standings.
Club officials were all smiles once again this past Saturday as seven members from the organization were selected in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) Entry Draft, which was held virtually. Four of the seven players that are Brooklin property were scooped up in the opening round of the six-round draft. That included Jonathan Donville, who was the top pick over-all.
A closer look at all seven Brooklin draftees follows.
The Texas-based Panther City Lacrosse Club, an expansion franchise in the NLL, made Donville the Number 1 pick.
“Donville checks all the boxes,” said Bob Hamley, the general manager of the Panther City Lacrosse Club, which will play its home contests in Fort Worth. “He is intelligent, a hard worker and an elite talent, and we look forward to having him in Panther City for a long time to come.”
No doubt Brooklin’s brass is also hoping Donville has a lengthy and successful career with its organization. Brooklin had selected Donville first over-all in the 2020 MSL Entry Draft. Donville, who appeared in five out of the eight Classic games for Brooklin, finished tied for second in team scoring, racking up 25 points, including 12 goals.
Waters was selected first overall by Brooklin in the 2021 MSL Entry Draft held this past March. And Waters once again heard his name called fairly early at Saturday’s NLL draft. He was chosen in the opening round, sixth over-all by the Calgary Roughnecks. “It’s an honour to be drafted by such a high-class organization like the Roughnecks,” Waters said. “I’m excited to get out there and get to work and show them what I can bring every single day.”
Waters appeared in five Classic games with Brooklin and earned 12 points (four goals, assists). Besides looking forward to his pro career in Calgary, Waters is also excited about Brooklin’s future. “Brooklin is on the rise and we had a tremendous shortened season with a lot of young guys,” he said. “This organization is in great hands and we’re going to be a team that’s going to compete for many championships.”
Barnable, a product of the Whitby Warriors’ Junior A squad, was one of Brooklin’s four protected players prior to this year’s MSL Entry Draft.
And the Saskatchewan Rush also have high hopes for him as they selected him eighth over-all in Saturday’s NLL draft. “Definitely a surreal moment and a dream come true to be selected in the NLL Entry Draft,” Barnable said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to compete at the next level and fill any role that the team asks of me.”
Barnable is equally excited at the prospect of suiting up for Brooklin in the coming MSL seasons.
“I would say it looks very bright and is very exciting to be a part of,” he said of Brooklin’s future. “The commitment to the team is contagious and I look forward to next summer’s season to pursue a championship with that group of guys.”
Like Waters, Inacio was also selected in the first round by the Roughnecks. Calgary had a pair of first-round picks, thanks to a previous trade, and made Inacio the 10th pick over-all.
“I knew I was going to be at a disadvantage because I haven’t played box since 2017,” said Inacio, who recently completed his senior season with the Ohio State Buckeyes field lacrosse squad. “But I got the opportunity to showcase myself with Brooklin during the MSL Classic.”
Inacio earned rave reviews for the pair of tournament games he suited up for. “Very grateful to have had that opportunity because I really got to show teams I’m not only a faceoff guy and I still am able to compete at the highest level despite being away from the box game for so long,” Inacio said. Inacio had various internship and training opportunities in Ohio the past few summers which prevented him from playing box lacrosse.
He’s now looking to make an impression with the Roughnecks. “I grew up watching them play and think they’re a first-class organization,” he said. “I’m super excited to get started and get to training camp.”
Kealey was the only member of the Brooklin organization to be chosen in the second round. The Rochester Knighthawks utilized the 19th pick over-all on Kealey. “It’s a true honour to get drafted,” he said. “It’s one of those nights you look forward to and wait for throughout your whole lacrosse career.” Kealey added he is keen to commence his pro career in Rochester.
“Absolutely ecstatic to be drafted by an organization such as the Knighthawks and excited for what the future holds,” he said. Kealey showed flashes of his offensive capabilities as he scored four goals and added a pair of assists in his two Classic appearances.
He’s also thrilled to be part of the Brooklin franchise. “It’s really amazing to see so many players from Brooklin get drafted,” he said. “It truly shows how well the organization has done with its ability to draft and trade to bring in a great young core group of players.”
Pipher, an Oshawa native, was chosen by the Georgia Swarm in the third round, 37th over-all. “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to one day compete in the NLL and (Saturday) that dream became closer to reality,” he said. “It’s an honour to be selected to an organization like the Swarm who has been dominant in the league for so long now.”
But Pipher realizes earning a place on the Swarm roster will be no easy feat. “They have such a talented team that it will be tough cracking a spot, however, it is a great opportunity for me to learn and gain knowledge and advice from guys like Lyle Thompson and Randy Staats,” he said.
Pipher spent three seasons with the Whitby Warriors Junior A club. This summer he suited up with the Mimico Mountaineers in the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League tournament.
“I was probably in my second or third year of junior when I realized getting drafted by an NLL team was possible,” Pipher said. “That was around the time where I started to really contribute offensively for my team but also recognized guys’ names who were being called in the draft that I had played against.”
Tolmie, a former star with the Clarington-based Green Gaels Junior B team, was chosen by the New York Riptide in the fourth round, 56th over-all. In recent years Tolmie has also been starring with Hofstra University, located in Long Island, N.Y. “I’m beyond excited to be drafted by the Riptide,” Tolmie said. “It has been a childhood dream to have a chance to play in the NLL. I’m grateful that it is in New York too because I went to school literally across the street to where they play so it’s a great situation for me.”
Unlike some members of the Brooklin organization, Tolmie was not 100 per cent certain if he would hear his name at Saturday’s draft.
“There had been some dialogue and it had been discussed but obviously you never do know until your name has been selected,” he said.
Tolmie will know a familiar face at the Riptide training camp. A former Green Gaels’ coach and the current Brooklin assistant coach, Jason Crosbie is also the Riptide offensive co-ordinator.
“He’s a great coach and I’m honoured to get the chance to play for him,” Tolmie said, adding he’s also looking forward to the opportunity to play for the entire New York coaching staff. “I’m glad there’s going to be familiarity for me in New York with him there. I feel like it’s going to allow me to put my best foot forward.”