Vancouver Stealth have signed 15 players, including 10 rookies and five returnees, as training camp for the 2014 season nears. (Photo: Chris Fischbeck)
With the 2014 NLL season fast approaching, the Vancouver Stealth have made some roster moves just ahead of training camp, which is set to begin at the end of November. A total of 15 different players were signed to one-year agreements earlier this week including Cody Bremner, the Stealth’s eighth overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NLL Entry Draft.
10 of the 15 players are rookies who will be fighting for a chance to make their first appearance in the NLL. The rookies include Bremner, Kevin Neufeld (22nd overall selection), Brett Dobray (26th overall selection), Blair Goss (36th overall), Josh Hawkins (41st overall selection), Brendan Rouse (45th overall selection), and Chris Wardle (54th overall selection). Three returning players who will be looking to earn a spot with the Stealth for a second-straight season include Justin Salt, Justin Pychel, and Bill Hostrawser.
Salt, Pychel, and Hostrawser saw their share of action with the Stealth last year and could make an even bigger impact this season. Salt appeared in 13 games for the 2013 season and contributed 8 points (4g, 4a) and 38 loose balls. Salt also added another two goals for the Stealth in three playoff games. Pychel and Hostrawer both appeared in nine regular season games for the Stealth, each adding 16 loose balls in their first season.
Other newly-signed players returning for the Stealth include Jeff Moleski, the former 11th overall pick in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft in Tyler Garrison and Mitch McMichael, who signed as a free agent last year. The other two signees include recent 2013 NLL draftees Nick Weiss (17th overall selection) and Tyler Digby (20th overall selection).
Jeff Moleski is entering his 10th year in the NLL and 4th year as a member of the Stealth. In the 2013 season Moleski appeared in 11 games for the Stealth, adding 13 points (5g, 8a) and 66 loose balls. Garrison is entering his second season after a strong rookie campaign where he played in all 16 regular season games for the Stealth and all three playoff games as well. The young defensemen also provided some offense last season scoring 14 points (4g, 10a) in the regular season and added another 5 points (4g, 1a) in the playoffs. McMichael managed to find his way onto the Stealth as a free agent last year and proved his worth, as he contributed 14 points (5g, 9a) in 14 games.
The two recent 2013 NLL draftees will bring dual sport experience when they enter training camp at the end of November as they’ve both played two sports at a high level. Weiss completed his Junior lacrosse career with 108 points (46g, 68a) and was also part of the Notre Dame Hounds hockey team who won the Telus Cup (National Midget AAA Championship).
Digby is coming off a 23 point (10 goals, 13 assists) season with the Burnaby Lakers of the WLA where he played in 15 regular season games in the 2013 season. Digby also played football at Robert Morris University for the last 4 years and was selected 36th overall by the Ottawa expansion franchise in the CFL.
The newly-signed players will be looking to impress the coaches at training camp come the end of November as they are all attempt to secure a roster spot with the Stealth for 2014. The Stealth’s 2014 season begins on Saturday, Jan. 4 on the road against the Colorado Mammoth before the team heads home the following week to host the Minnesota Swarm on Saturday, Jan. 11 for their home opener at the Langley Events Centre.