Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Excelsiors and Kodiaks swap lefty forwards Veltman and Saunders

Daryl Veltman is joining the Excelsiors after a trade between Brampton and the Cobourg Kodiaks.
(Photo: Kevin Light Photography)
The Brampton Excelsiors and Cobourg Kodiaks have completed a trade of lefty forwards with the Excels getting Daryl Veltman and the Kodiaks receiving Patrick Saunders.

Veltman, who is currently playing for the Buffalo Bandits and who recently moved back to Georgetown, Ontario, has spent his entire eight-year senior career in the Western Lacrosse Association. The first seven were with the Coquitlam Adanacs but last year the Orangeville Jr A product joined the Victoria Shamrocks and helped them win the Mann Cup.

Saunders also played out west last summer, finishing third in the WLA in scoring while suiting up for the Langley Thunder. He has also spent time with KW, Peterborough and Brampton in MSL. Saunders scored 38 goals last year for the New England Black Wolves in a breakout season and is establishing himself as a consistently dangerous scoring threat.

“I think what we were looking for really is to bolster our offence and with Pat Saunders we certainly get that,” said Al Orth, one of the owners of the newly minted Cobourg Kodiaks, who moved from Kitchener-Waterloo a week ago.

While Saunders may not be available to the Kodiaks this year, they are hoping he will return from the west coast to help the club in their pursuit to become more competitive in their new home. The Kodiaks finished in last place a year ago.

“Daryl Veltman, we knew, wasn't interested in playing for us for whatever reasons,” Orth said. “This is really a swap of out of province players from Brampton's list to our list. We think there's a tremendous upside for Pat. We hope we can persuade him to play here, if not this year then in coming years.”

For Brampton, the return is more immediate as head coach Paul Stewart says Veltman is on board for 2016. “While it was difficult to give up a 35-goal scorer in the National Lacrosse League, in Daryl we are bringing in a talented veteran who wants to play for us and is coming off a Mann Cup season,” Stewart said. “He already has great chemistry with Dan Dawson and has worked great with [2015 MSL rookie of the year] Tyler Ferreira in Buffalo. I was excited when we made the trade but after speaking to Daryl I am looking forward to the summer even more.”

And yes, that was some more information revealed in Stewart's quote. He does expect Dawson to be playing back home in 2016. “Dan will be in our lineup this summer and his leadership in getting our guys ready to show that last year wasn't a fluke is incredible,” Stewart said. “As fas as players that other guys in the league look up to and respect, Dan is in that very exclusive class with guys like [Shawn Williams]. Having him back is huge.”