September 16, 2023 – National Lacrosse League (NLL) – Toronto Rock News Release
Oakville, ON – The annual NLL Draft was held on Saturday afternoon at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC) in Oakville, ON and the host Toronto Rock selected five players that will make their way to training camp in just over a month.
At this year’s draft, the Rock didn’t have a pick in either of the first two rounds having previously traded those picks away. Their second-round pick was dealt to Albany at the trade deadline to acquire veteran defender Greg Downing and their first round pick was recently traded to Saskatchewan to acquire future Hall of Fame forward Mark Matthews.
The Rock’s first pick in this year’s selection process was the 39th overall pick and fell at the beginning of the third round. The pick was acquired in a previous deal that sent Aaron Forster to Albany prior to last season.
With the pick, the Rock selected 23-year-old forward Zack Kearney of Georgetown, ON. The versatile lefty played Sr. B lacrosse this summer with the Oakville Rock who are also coached by Rock head coach Matt Sawyer. He’s a player the Rock knows very well. Kearney enjoyed a great season with Oakville and showed he can contribute at both ends of the floor and is a valuable complimentary player who can make room for his teammates up front. Kearney played his collegiate lacrosse at UMass and his Jr. A lacrosse was also played in Oakville with the OJLL’s Buzz. Prior to that, he plied his trade with his hometown Halton Hills Jr. B Bulldogs where he served as team captain.
Also in the third round, 50th overall, the Rock selected physical defender Chase Schiavon from the Orangeville Jr. A Northmen of the OJLL. Schiavon, a 2-year-old native of Kelowna, BC, started the 2023 season playing for the Langley Thunder of the BCJALL, where he also earned the team’s award as their top defensive player. At the trade deadline, Schiavon was transferred from B.C. to Ontario to play for the Northmen. The GM that made the acquisition for the Northmen was none other than Rock goaltender Nick Rose, while the Northmen head coach is Rock assistant coach Rusty Kruger. Needless to say, Schiavon is another player the Rock organization is extremely familiar with.
In the fourth round, 65th overall, the Rock selected defender John Wheller from the Whitby Jr. A Warriors of the OJLL. The steady 21-year-old defender from Whitby, ON finished out his Jr. A career this past summer with the Warriors, but also earned himself a Minto Cup Canadian Jr. A Lacrosse Championship ring with Whitby in 2022. Wheller also plays in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) with the Guelph Gryphons where he studies Economics.
In the fifth round, 79th overall, the Rock stuck with the theme of players they are very familiar with when they selected defender and faceoff specialist Brett Handsor from the Oakville Sr. B Rock. Handsor, 23-years-old from Huntsville, ON, handled the majority of the faceoffs for the Oakville Sr. B club this summer and supplied some very solid defensive minutes for the Ontario champions. He played collegiately at Johns Hopkins University.
With the Rock’s final pick, sixth round 94th overall, the club selected lefty forward Luke Dawick from the Oakville Jr. A Buzz of the OJLL. Dawick, 21-years-old from Oakville, ON, contributed 4 goals and 18 assists for 22 points in his final season of Jr. A lacrosse. He also plays for McGill University (CUFLA). He’s the second Dawick to be drafted by the Rock in as many years as his older brother Josh was the Rock’s top pick a year ago. Luke and Josh are both sons of Rock Owner, President, and GM Jamie Dawick.
The Toronto Rock will open training camp at the end of October and play three exhibition games at the TRAC in November.
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