LeClair a Mammoth success
Sam LeClair immediately turned back the clock when he saw he was selected in the National Lacrosse League draft last month.
The 20-year-old Welland native was chosen in the sixth round (86th overall) by the Colorado Mammoth.
“I was at home watching it with my family,” he said. “It was kind of shocking at first. It’s one of those things you think about and work for so it was really exciting.
“I was looking back right away at all the hard work and development it took to get there.”
LeClair, who is majoring in social sciences at Brock, admitted he wasn’t sure what to expect.
“I put my name in so I was watching the draft and anticipating it. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go, but I was happy where I ended up and couldn’t be more appreciative of the opportunity.”
LeClair said the Mammoth quickly contacted him after his selection.
“They reached out and told me they are happy to have me on board and set me up with the trainer and a fitness program,” he said.
LeClair began his junior career at the junior B level with the Welland Generals before being dealt to the St. Catharines Spartans. He then moved up to the St. Catharines Athletics where he quickly showed he could be an offensive force at junior A level.
“Oh, 100 per cent I give all the credit to them,” LeClair said of the Spartans and Athletics. “From the coaching staffs all the way up to the veterans who taught me new things. When I was playing junior B and being able to go to the junior A practices and then ended up in the lineup, just learning so much from those guys.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for those people in my life. On and off the floor, I learned a lot from those guys.”
A’s general manager Jeff Chcoski loves LeClair’s skill set.
“He came on late but he has a great outside shot,” Chcoski said. “The boys really take to him. He goes out there and works hard night in and night out and he can score the ball.”
LeClair isn’t sure when the NLL season will start, but is working out to get as prepared as possible.
“I’m just looking at the positives as more time to prepare so when you get to training camp you’re even more fit and more prepared.”
LeClair is also looking forward to the competition at the pro level.
“It’s going to be a challenge but I’m always up for that challenge,” he said. “As a 16-year-old, I’ve had that experience playing against a 21-year-old so you have to look back at those memories. Now I’m even more developed as a player and a human so I’m ready for that opportunity to step in there and show them what I can do.”
LeClair is also eligible to return for a final year of junior in 2021.
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