A pair of Surrey lacrosse players are heading to the Prairies after being selected in the National Lacrosse League draft on Monday night in Toronto.
Both Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary grad Mike Messenger and South Surrey’s Spencer Bromley – currently in his senior year at Montreal’s McGill University – were chosen in the draft by the Saskatchewan Rush.
Messenger, who wrapped up his senior season at South Carolina’s NCAA Div. 2 Limestone College in the spring, was picked third overall by the Rush, who also had the first overall selection.
Bromley – who plays junior box lacrosse with the Delta Islanders – was selected in the fifth round, 48th overall.
Bromley, 21, became the first-ever player from the Semiahmoo Rock association to be drafted into the pro ranks of the NLL, and was also the first member of the McGill Redmen to be drafted.
For a while Monday night, Bromley said he didn’t think he’d hear his name called at all.
“I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen going into the night,” he told Peace Arch News Tuesday, adding that he watched a live-stream of the proceedings online from his laptop while sitting in his kitchen.
After “waiting nervously” for a while, Bromley finally heard his name called at about 10:30 p.m.
“The names kept (getting announced) and things were ticking down, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to get drafted at all, and then when I did, there was a bit of disbelief – my heart kind of sank into the pit of my stomach.
“It’s pretty crazy… Everybody who seriously plays this sport dreams of that moment, but sometimes it seems like the day will never come, and when it does, it’s kind of surreal.”
Upon being selected, Bromley – who hadn’t yet heard from the Rush, but expected to in the coming days – said he got a barrage of text messages and calls from friends, family, former teammates and coaches, but admitted that the moment hadn’t quite sunk in at that point.
“They were texting me, and I’m reading them but I just couldn’t believe what they were saying,” he said. “But it’s starting to sink in now.”
Bromley’s selection in the NLL draft is the most recent accomplishment in what has been a summer full of them. Back in August, Bromley and his longtime Semiahmoo Rock teammates Brett Andersen and Connor Davidson became the first three players from the association to participate in the Minto Cup national box lacrosse championship, which this year was held at the Langley Events Centre.
And while Bromley admitted the prestigious tournament didn’t go as well as he or his Delta Islanders mates would have liked, he was grateful for the experience.
“The Minto Cup didn’t end how we would’ve liked, but it was a crazy roller-coaster leading up to that point,” he said.
Bromley was a key member of the Islanders, and is equally as important to his field-lacrosse squad at McGill, where he is a co-captain.
His McGill coach Tim Murdoch was thrilled to see Bromley selected Monday.
“We are delighted that Spencer Bromley has been drafted by Saskatchewan… I have no doubt that (they) will benefit greatly from Spencer’s leadership abilities, his intense work ethic, toughness and never-quit winning mentality,” he said in an email to Peace Arch News.
“We are very proud that Spencer has represented McGill so well.”
Like Bromley, Messenger has had a season full of accolades, as well.
The defenceman – deemed “pro ready” in a Rush news release issued this week – scored 60 goals in his senior season at Limestone College and was named the Div. 2 Most Outstanding Player. He led Limestone to back-to-back NCAA Div. 2 lacrosse championships, in 2014 and ’15.
“We’re really thrilled to get Mike Messenger on board,” said Saskatchewan head coach Derek Keenan. “He’s a big, physical defender who fits our style… we think he can come in and play right away.”
Upon completion of his college career, Messenger played part of the summer with the New Westminster Salmonbellies of the Western Lacrosse Association. He scored four goals and seven points in eight regular-season contests, then added two goals and an assist in five playoff games.
While Messenger might head straight into an NLL lineup, Bromley – who is in the midst of the field-lacrosse season with the Redmen – may have a more difficult time making the jump because he is still in school.
His field-lacrosse schedule wraps up in early November, with NLL training camps set to begin shortly thereafter; the NLL season begins in late December.
Though he would have to juggle school work, not to mention a lengthy commute between Montreal and Saskatoon, Bromley said if he made the team out of training camp he could balance both life at McGill during the week with weekend games with the Rush.
“It’d be tough – definitely a busy schedule – but I think I could do it,” said Bromley, who is majoring in economics with a minor in finance at McGill. “I’m just excited to (get through) my last year of school here and then get started.”