Chase Fraser and Ryan Lee selected in NLL Draft

by Dan Marshall

NANAIMO — The Timbermen had two of their best players drafted into the National Lacrosse League on Monday.

2017 WLA Rookie of the Year Chase Fraser was picked 13th overall by the Buffalo Bandits and the WLA's top rookie in 2016 Ryan Lee was chosen 25th by the  Colorado Mammoth.   

This past summer Fraser and Lee finished the season as the Timbermen's co-leading scorers with 52 points each.

Team president Chris Bowman says both athletes are getting to fulfill a lifelong dream.

"It's something they've worked towards. It's something we talked about before we drafted Chase and before we brought Ryan in from Peterborough, the opportunity for them to play and showcase their talents to hopefully get that  dream and to get drafted in the NLL," said Bowman.

Tmen Coach Kaleb Toth calls Fraser and Lee two very special players. 

Toth thought Fraser would go in the top six in the draft and believes Buffalo got a steal getting him 13th.

"I can't believe he went at 13," said Toth. "Buffalo got a heck of a player. He can do it all. He can play offense, he can play defense, he can take  faceoffs, and he can score goals." 

For the past two seasons Toth has worked with Lee and speaks highly of his speed and skill.

"He's got a real quick first step, he sees the floor very well. He can shoot the ball unreal. He hides his shot very well and he's got a cannon," said  Toth.

Fraser is the only member of the Tmen in the Buffalo organization but Colorado is now loaded with Nanaimo players.

Brody Eastwood, Taylor Stuart, and Jordan Gilles are already members of the Mammoth.

Lee is looking forward to making the Mammoth roster and getting to play with some good friends.

"Three of my good buddies are on the team, so I guess they like Nanamo guys. I'm excited to get out there and see those guys and play again," said  Lee.  

The Bandits and Mammoth will play head to head on March 3 in Denver and there's sure to be lots of interest in that game among Timbermen fans.

Now that the Mann Cup is over things are pretty quiet in the WLA.

When the draft comes up in February the Timbermen will have the third overall pick.

If their strong track record at the draft continues they could have a third straight Rookie of the Year award winner in 2018.