The off-season retooling continues as the Vancouver Stealth look to break a three-year absence from the National Lacrosse League playoffs.
The club added four players via the draft but has also been busy, trading for a defender with a championship pedigree and signing a long-coveted free agent.
The Stealth selected two forwards and two defenders with their four picks in the NLL draft on Sept. 26, two right-handers and two left-handers.
“With limited draft picks, we feel real good with what the outcome was,” said Stealth general manager Doug Locker.
“We took a swipe at each position and certainly got a couple of guys we had targeted to boot.”
Vancouver picked local product James Rahe with the team’s top selection, 11th overall, in the second round.
They also added Adam Jay (32nd overall) and Cody Teichroeb (41st) — who played some junior A in Langley — and Danton Miller (49th).
Jay and Teichroeb are both defenders while Miller is a left-handed forward.
Jay as a big body who plays with an edge while Teichroeb was described as a big, tough defender with a great work ethic.
Locker said Miller is a skilled forward and the GM thought teams may have forgotten he was still available.
The team’s other two recent moves were trading for Saskatchewan Rush defender John Lintz — sending a second round pick in next year’s draft the other way — and inking free agent forward Cory Conway.
Lintz has won back-to-back Champion’s Cups with the rush as well as helping the Langley Thunder win the WLA title in senior A in both 2011 and 2012.
“Just a guy who brings a lot of championship experience,” Locker said. “Big body, real steady-Eddie defender. We think he really addresses some needs for us on the back-end.”
“And a character guy.”
The team also inked Conway, a right-handed forward.
He has been out of the NLL since 2015 but has led the WLA in assists in six of the past seven seasons. In 2014, Conway didn’t play.
“The more we watched him, the more excited we got, not only because of his feeding ability, but his ability to score. He is a factor out there,” Locker said.
“(He is a guy) who brings an additional dynamic to our team, makes us a more dangerous offensive group.”
As for the fact that Conway and Garrett Billings play similar roles on the floor, Locker wasn’t too concerned, saying the team will find a way to make the offence work, referencing the fact that Conway, Rhys Duch and Dan Dawson — all right-handers — were all able to co-exist on the floor in helping Victoria win the Mann Cup in 2015.
The latest signings and acquisitions come after a busy summer where the Stealth re-signed Tyler Richards, Ian Hawsbee, Curtis Hodgson, Justin Salt, Keegan Bal, Jarret Toll, Brandon Clelland, Travis Cornwall, Cody Hagedorn and Chris O’Dougherty.
They also added free agents Justin Goodwin, Jordan McBride, Evan Messenger, Tyson Roe, Billy Saxton, Dane Sorenson and Tanner Theede.
Locker expects the team to hold an invitational tryout camp in November ahead of the team’s training camp.
The Stealth begin the 2017 NLL season on Jan. 6 with the team’s home opener on Jan. 14.