The Vancouver Stealth’s Free Agent Camp took place this past weekend and some players really impressed the Stealth Coaching Staff. A total of eight new Free Agents have been signed along with returning players Brett Hickey, Mike Mallory, and Neil Tyacke, who also signed as free agents, pending league approval.
Hickey and Mallory spent all of last season on the practice roster for the Stealth, but this past summer they took huge strides in improving their chance at a spot on the active roster. Hickey played the 2013 season with Coquitlam Adanacs of the Western Lacrosse Association, where he put up career numbers scoring 32 goals and 25 assists in 14 regular season matches. He was awarded 2nd team all-star honours. He also tallied another 13 points in four post season matches. Mallory played his first year in the WLA as a member of the Maple Ridge Burrards, where he tallied 28 points (8 goals, 20 assists) in 16 matches.
Tyacke appeared in one match for the Stealth during the 2013 season, facing just seven shots in 11 minutes of play. This past summer Tyacke got a lot more action playing for the New Westminster Salmonbellies of the WLA, where he had a 9.31 GAA and a .803 save percentage.
The Stealth Free Agent Camp proved to bring out the best in some players, three of which have recent experience in the NLL. Alex Gajic from Burnaby, BC has three seasons worth of NLL experience under his belt; he played in 32 matches and added 98 points (50 goals, 48 assists) for the Colorado Mammoth from 2010 to 2012. Alex is also the younger brother of Ilija Gajic, who was recently acquired by the Stealth from the Colorado Mammoth.
Aaron Pascas, a Port Coquitlam, BC native also brings some NLL experience, as he recently played for the Calgary Roughnecks during the 2013 season, scoring seven points (one goal, six assists) in six matches. He also played 14 matches with the Toronto Rock during the 2011 season, adding another 23 points (15 goals, 8 assists).
Jamie Shewchuk who hails from Edmonton, AB definitely brought the most experience to the Free Agent Camp. He’s played in 86 career NLL regular season matches and four playoff matches (2007 - 2012). Shewchuk has put up solid numbers throughout his career with both Minnesota and Colorado, collecting a total of 313 points (38 goals, 176 assists) over his six year career.
This year’s Free Agent Camp went well beyond players with NLL experience as six players brought a wide range of Junior ‘A’ and WLA experience also signed with the Stealth. The six other Free Agent signings included a number of strong local players; Sean Lundstrom (Langley, BC), Richard Lachlan (Port Coquitlam, BC), Brandan Smith (Victoria, BC), Neil Arbogast (Vancouver, BC), Scott Rouse (Cloverdale, BC) and Matt Flindell (Victoria, BC).
The recent signing of this year’s Free Agents is just a stepping stone for players looking to earn a spot on the Stealth roster. They will continue their fight for a roster spot at training camp which is set for the end of November.
The Stealth’s 2014 season will begin on January 4th against the Colorado Mammoth and then the following week on January 11th when they host the Minnesota Swarm in their home opener at the Langley Events Centre.