Roughnecks select Tor Reinholdt in the first round, thrilling GM Mike Board.
Tor Reinholdt credits his new lacrosse coach as changing his career fortunes a few years ago.
The 22-year-old was a member of the Coquitlam Adanacs at the time and his coach was now-Calgary Roughnecks coach Curt Malawsky.
An offensive player at the time, Malawsky decided to start throwing Reinholdt on the transition team with a focus on defence.
“(Malawsky) told me ‘Don’t be mad if you’re not playing offense, or not playing defense, it can help your game especially if you want to play at the next level,’” Reinholdt told CalgaryRoughnecks.com.
It must have worked, because the Roughnecks selected the 6-foot-0, 185-pound transition player with the 6th overall selection in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft.
Reinholdt was a player many of the experts had slated going to the Roughnecks, but Malawsky didn’t tip his hand to his former player.
“I had the feeling that Calgary or Minnesota, but you never really know, depending on trades,” Reinholdt said. “I was a little nervous but I feel great to go to Calgary.”
“I’m super, super excited to go somewhere so close to home, especially under Curt’s coaching. I had him in junior, won the Minto Cup together and he helped turn my game around.”
After graduating from Limestone University, Reinholdt spent the summer league with the Langley Thunder, playing alongside new teammate Dane Dobbie.
He also grew up alongside Travis Cornwall.
General Manager Mike Board calls Reinholdt a fierce competitor.
“He has great speed, can play all over the floor and will add another dimension to our transition game,” Board said. “He is a solid, all-around player we have watched closely for a number of seasons. We like everything he brings to the table.”
Earlier in the day, Board traded Reinholdt’s college roommate Jackson Decker to the Colorado Mammoth in exchange for a 2nd Round Draft Pick in the 2014 NLL Entry Draft.
During the draft, Board acquired the 10th overall pick and a second rounder in 2015 from the Buffalo Bandits in exchange for the 15th overall pick and forward Joe Resetarits.
Board cited depth issues and hoping to get more athletic as the reason for the two trades, adding he’s not sure he’d be able to find the two guys playing time next season.
“Tor and Karsen (Leung) were two guys we targeted a long time ago, and we weren’t sure we were able to get them,” Board said. “Hence the move to get up to 10.
“The league is getting more athletic and these two guys fill that void."
He used the 10th overall pick on Karsen Leung, a 22-year-old transition player with the Victoria Shamrocks. He’s well known with the Roughnecks, having played with seven future teammates for the Shamrocks over the summer, helping the team reach the 2013 Mann Cup.
In the Mann Cup, he was fifth for the Shamrocks with six points in six games. He added 12 points in 11 games during the regular season.
The Roughnecks added size in the third round, selecting defender Garrett McIntosh from the Maple Ridge Burrards. Listed at 6-foot-3, 220 pound, McIntosh is a former teammate with Reinholdt while also being coached by Malawsky.
Peter Dubenski, a goaltender from the Coquitlam Jr. Adanacs, was selected in the fourth round, while Calgary-born forward Jake Hayes was picked in the fifth round.
The Roughnecks finished their draft by adding Brendan Ranford, a player with the New West Minister Salmonbellies. Ranford, the nephew of legendary Edmonton Oilers goalie Bill Ranford, recently finished his WHL career with the Kamloops Blazers and is pursuing a professional hockey career with the Dallas Stars organization.