NANAIMO — The Junior A Timbermen took small steps to being a better team in 2017.
In 2016 the club did not record an on floor win, their 2-19 record was based on two games being won via forfeit.
Last season the club went 2-18-1 which is a modest improvement for a franchise trying to build from the ground up.
One of the first steps in improving the club for 2018 comes this weekend with the midget draft.
The Timbermen will have the first overall selection when the draft begins Saturday at the Langley Events Centre Banquet Hall.
Coach Dave Bremner says the organization wants to add players who will compliment the current roster.
"We were a very young team last year. We want players to continue to grow with the system we want to run, and in the future we want to be a power house in the BC Junior A Lacrosse League," said Bremner.
Nanaimo midget players are automatically in the Timbermen catchment area and don't need to be drafted.
The seven other teams in the BCJALL have catchment areas of their own as well.
Bremner says there is plenty of talent available outside the boundaries of Junior A teams, and notes that areas like Saanich and Peninsula typically produce high level lacrosse players.
Two players who the Timbermen drafted in 2017 are expected to make the move to Nanaimo this year.
Ari Stevens out of Saanich and Sam Zeisberger from Peninsula should be a part of the 2018 roster according to Bremner.
The Timbermen will be holding a free agent camp to look at new talent, and the club is exploring options for Ontario based players who want to come out west to BC.
Bremner says trades could open up on draft day as well, that was the case when the Timbermen hosted the event a year ago.
"There are some deals on the table pending for the draft," said Bremner. "Primarily we don't want to give up our number one pick, but if the right deal came around then everything's a go."
When asked about a win total for 2018 Bremner says he can't put a number on it yet.
What he does expect is for the team to compete every night - something he felt was not the case in 2017.
He says the 2018 version of the Timbermen will be an exciting, fast team that plays good two way lacrosse and will hopefully be in the mix for a playoff spot.
Dry land training for the Tmen will start later this month with on floor training camp sessions slated for March.
Bremner says the league will start up later than usual this year, the week of May 5.
Normally there are games as soon as the third week of April.
The 2018 BCJALL schedule should be out by the end of the month.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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