YORKTON - The Saskatchewan Rush drafted six players in the recent NLL draft, including taking Austin Madronic with the sixth overall pick.
“It was awesome. I was with my girlfriend and grandparents at the draft,” he told Yorkton This Week.
While hearing his name called, Madronic did add there was a “bittersweet” aspect as his mom and dad were not in attendance. He explained they are in the military with his mom in Latvia at present, and his dad on a visit there.
But, thanks to technology they did get to share the moment via the ‘net.
So overall, “it was a really cool experience,” reiterated Madronic. “I’ve been dreaming of this.”
The dream started when he was only four and he picked up a lacrosse stick, and now almost 20 years later he said the dream has come true.
“To go in the top-10 of the draft, especially to a team like Saskatchewan that’s a real contender, is great,” he said.
As for the Rush being the team to call his name, Madronic said he wasn’t sure who would make him their pick.
“I knew they were interested, but I talked to a bunch of teams. Saskatchewan was one of a bunch of teams interested,” he said.
So now it’s a case of waiting for camp to see where Madronic fits into the Rush’s plan.
“I know I’ll probably play offence,” he said, adding he has talked to Rush Coach Jimmy Quinlan but there wasn’t a lot of detail regarding plans.
“It’s all up in the air,” he said.
So what have the Rush gotten in drafting Madronic.
Well, he’s from Victoria, B.C., and the 1999-born, right shot played the past four seasons with Harvard University and prior to that, he was with the Victoria Jr. A Shamrocks. Last season with Harvard, Madronic lead the team in goals, notching 30 goals and 14 assists in 13 games.
While it has been field lacrosse at Harvard, Madronic said he doesn’t expect there to be a big adjustment back to box – the game he grew up playing, including as a junior with Victoria, where he put up 14 multi-goal games, 28 multi-point games and suited up for one Minto Cup final.
“I don’t think it will be much of a transition,” he said, adding he feels like he is “at game speed right now.
“I’ve always kept myself ready.”
Of course Madronic said he also realizes the NLL is where the best players in lacrosse play, including great goaltenders which he’ll need to deal with as an offensive player.
“It’ll definitely be a challenge that I’m looking forward to embracing,” he said.
Madronic said his field style, working hard off ball and being willing to do the little things, should translate well to the NLL.
In fact, that aspect of the game is one of the reasons Madronic, who played various sports in his youth, ended up focused on lacrosse.
“Lacrosse has always been my first sport, but I grew up playing a ton of sports,” he said, adding he is a firm believer that youngsters should experience and play as many different sports as possible.
So why does Madronic love lacrosse most?
“It’s one sport you can do little things that so rewarding and recognized by teammates and coaches, that help a team,” he said, adding they are off-ball things fans might not even notice.
Now Madronic is excited to be in the NLL, and to experience a building filled with cheering Rush fans.
“I’ve never been to a Rush game, but I know they have one of the best fan bases in the league,” he said, adding even in online video he could sense the energy in the building.
As for the rest of the NLL draft, late in the second round, Saskatchewan selected Isaac Ngyou 40th overall. The left-shot defenseman played this past season with Langley Jr. A, and put up two goals and five assists in 13 games, and is also playing up with the Langley Sr. A in the 2022 Mann Cup from September 8-18th.
In the third round, with the 49th overall pick, the Rush selected Cameron Badour. The 6-foot-4 forward spent his past four seasons at Duke University. In 38 career games, the Ottawa product notched 24 goals and 12 assists.
Heading into the fourth round, Saskatchewan selected Jeremy Searle 64th overall, then for the 80th overall pick, from Coquitlam, BC, the Rush selected 6-foot 185-pound forward Gabriel Procyk. Then with their final selection the Rush picked left-shot forward Carter Brand.