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Sports This Week: Anderson top pick of seven by Sask Rush

The Rush also added three players in the second round picks where they selected goaltender Thomas Kiazyk (20), forward Jake Bowen (20) and Josh Zawada (29). 
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Rush coach Jimmy Quinlan has seven draft picks to evaluate for upcoming season. (File Photo)

YORKTON - The Saskatchewan Rush made seven selections during the recent 2023 NLL Entry Draft, starting with Levi Anderson.

Anderson from the Miners Lacrosse Club (in Alberta), was the 12th overall selection in round one.

Anderson told Yorkton This Week the selection was an amazing moment for him.

“I’ve watched lacrosse all my life growing up. It was a dream come true,” he said, adding he has been playing the sport for years so he admitted too, “it was a long time coming.”

Growing up in Calgary, Anderson admitted allegiance to the local NLL Roughnecks, but added he also followed the then Edmonton Rush.

“They were my two teams. It was fun to watch them at the Saddledome. It was definitely fun watching them growing up,” he said.

So to be picked by the Rush was a plus.

“I’m very, very fortunate for the opportunity,” said Anderson.

Anderson said he has already been in contact with Rush coaching staff.

“We spoke a few times,” he said, adding he told them he will be “happy to play” wherever they think he can best help the team. “I just want to get an opportunity.”

Certainly this season there are likely to be opportunities as the Rush are a team in something of a rebuild.

“There should be lots of opportunities for the new young bloods to get in there,” said Anderson, adding they just need to work hard to earn a role. “. . . There’s definitely spots to be earned.”

Anderson, a 6'4 forward who currently plays NCAA at St Joseph's, was a standout at the 2023 Presidents Cup. In 21 senior games this summer, Levi averaged 5.5 points per game, noted a Rush release.

So what does Anderson believe he can bring to the Rush.

“A lot of athleticism,” he said, adding he feels he is “a strong ball carrier.”

Offensively Anderson said he looks to find open teammates.

“I take pride in assists,” he said.

For Anderson the next couple of months will be about school, and getting ready for Rush camp.

In terms of lacrosse he said he’ll be playing field, and spending time in an arena keeping his eye/hand coordination sharp.

The Rush also added three players in the second round picks where they selected goaltender Thomas Kiazyk (20), forward Jake Bowen (20) and Josh Zawada (29). 

Kiazyk, a 6'3 goaltender from Ontario, won the Founders Cup in 2022 with the Nepean Knights. He posted an .881 save percentage this past season, with a .892 SV per cent in the playoffs. He currently attends Carleton University. 

Bowen, who took the Edmonton Miners to a Minto Cup final in 2022, had 27 points in 16 games with the Langley Senior A Thunder this summer in the Western Lacrosse Association. His father, Jamey, played and coached for the Edmonton Rush.

Zawada, an American who is transferring to Duke University, played juniors in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League. In 51 NCAA games, he has 213 points. At the 2018 Minto Cup, he had a goal and six assists in four games while playing with Saskatchewan's first round pick, Anderson. 

In the fourth round, Saskatchewan picked Curtis Bukta, a forward out of Newberry College at 58th overall. In 2019, he won a Minto Cup with the Orangeville Northmen, before finishing his junior career in Mimico.

With the 72nd pick overall, in the fifth round, the Rush stayed in province and went with local defender Sam Marshall. Marshall, played his Junior A lacrosse with the SWAT program, (in Saskatoon), while representing Canada at the IIJL World Juniors on numerous occasions. 

To finish off the draft, Saskatchewan selected Whitby product Scott Reed in the sixth round, 87th overall. In 2022, he won a Minto Cup with the Whitby Warriors. Reed spent the summer with the Brooklin Merchants in Ontario Series Lacrosse.