The 2017 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft will be held Monday, September 18 at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, Ontario. NLL.com correspondent Stephen Stamp introduces you to some of the players expected to be chosen near the top of the draft in this series, Getting to Know a Prospect.
Getting to Know…Cam Milligan
I remember watching the Peterborough Jr A Lakers play a game a couple of years ago. Cam Milligan had the ball out near the restraining line. Fellow righty Kyle Killen cut from the near corner to the crease, closely trailed by a defender. It didn’t look like a scoring opportunity. At least, to me it didn’t. To Milligan it clearly did because he whipped a pass that led Killen perfectly, nestling in his outstretched stick where the defender couldn’t reach it but Killen could corral it and tuck it home.
That assist is what sets Milligan apart from most other players. It shows a combination of vision, timing and stick skills that allow him to make plays that others simply can’t. That skill set comes in large part from being a coach’s son. Cam’s father Jim was always there to help the younger Milligan work on his game, but it was Cam who put in the work. Another scene I remember from the Peterborough Memorial Centre: Jim and Cam hitting the floor with a bucket of balls after my men’s league game had finished and Cam shooting over and over.
It was always expected that Cam would be a Laker when his Jr A days ended; it was just a surprise that the city was Burnaby rather than Peterborough. But heading out West may have been the best thing that could have happened to Cam in his draft year. Rather than trying to find floor time behind the established quartet of Shawn Evans, Kyle Buchanan, Curtis Dickson and Josh Currier (a quartet that pushed Mark Steenhuis back to the defensive zone), Milligan played in the WLA. He got plenty of touches and took advantage, scoring 51 points in 17 games and adding another 17 in seven playoff games.
It’s anybody’s guess where Milligan winds up being selected in a draft that is well-stocked with quality righties and not many teams need righties, but there’s little question he has the talent to play at the NLL level.
Name: Cameron Milligan
Date of birth: March 13, 1995
Shooting hand: Right
Jr Team: Peterborough Lakers/Delta Islanders
Sr Team: Burnaby Lakers
College: University of Vermont
Who was your favourite player growing up? John Grant Jr
What NLL player do you think your game is similar to or do you model your game after? John Grant Jr
What will you bring to the team that drafts you? Offensive creativity and a high lacrosse IQ
What is your biggest accomplishment or the biggest moment of your lacrosse career so far? Playing in 2016 Minto Cup / Defeating Stoneybrook in the 2016 America East semifinal game
Who would play you in the movie of your life? Ashton Kutcher