Junior Athletics look to the future
The St. Catharines Athletics traded forward Brayden Mayea, (15), to the Oakville Buzz. File photo: BILL POTRECZ
The St. Catharines WKML Athletics dealt a big part of their present to help secure their future this week.
The A’s shipped forward Brayden Mayea to the Oakville Buzz in exchange for two first-round draft picks in 2023, three players (Davis Longlade, Logan Fletcher, Ryan Patterson) and the maximum cash permitted.
“We’ve been working on it for about a week-and-half now,” A’s general manager Jeff Chcoski said. “Not that I wanted to trade him now — I always thought I would do it at the trade deadline — but so many teams were coming at us and the offers were so outrageous we had to take it.”
Mayea, a 20-year-old native of Windsor, was the A’s co-most valuable player in the playoffs last season along with Carter Zavitz. He placed third in playoff scoring as the A’s captured the Iroquois Cup, emblematic of the Ontario junior A lacrosse championship.
“We talked to Mayea and it was one of the hardest conversations I had to have, but we have to do what’s right for the organization at this point and start loading up for next next two to three years down the road,” Chcoski said.
The A’s lost the nucleus of last year’s team to graduation which puts them in a re-tool for the next couple of seasons.
“Two years from now, we’re looking to be top four, three years from now we’re looking to be in the top two and four years from now when the Minto comes back here (to Ontario) we should be in a position to win,” Chcoski said. “The future is bright for both the junior A and junior B organizations with the amount of talent we’re brining in and the talent that is around here in Niagara.”
Of the players acquired, one has three seasons of junior eligibility remaining while the other two have four years left. All three are defence/transition players.
As well, the A’s have four first-round picks next season in an 11-team league.
The 2022 draft will be held Sunday. The A’s own three picks in the second round —18th, 21st and 23rd overall.
“You really do want to draft kids who have ties to the area and in the Golden Horseshoe a little bit,” Chcoski said. “We have four of five guys in the draft we know have connections to the area.”
The A’s will hold a training camp (open tryouts) March 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., March 6 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., March 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and March 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Haig Bowl Arena.
Dear reader. If you liked this story or one of the 3,900 other stories found on our website, please consider hitting the Support Us button on the right-hand side of our home page and making a PayPal contribution to our website. Your support would be much appreciated. If you are a business owner, please consider advertising on our site. Our rates are reasonable and we provide plenty of exposure for your business. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.