Langley-based Stealth announce roster

The Vancouver Stealth have taken shape.

On Wednesday, Langley’s National Lacrosse League team announced its roster to open its 2015 season.

The Stealth’s roster includes:  

Forwards: Tyler Digby, Rhys Duch, Joel McCready, Johnny Powless, Lewis Ratcliff, Cliff Smith and Caleb Wiles;

Transition: Brandon Clelland, Ilija Gajic, Tyler Garrison, Tyler Hass, Mitch McMichael and Justin Salt;

Defencemen: Tyler Burton, Curtis Hodgson, Bradley Kri, Chris O’Dougherty, and Rory Smith;

Goaltenders: Eric Penney and Tyler Richards  

Practice squad: Kyle Belton (transition), Conrad Chapman (transition) and Matt Delmonico (forward).

The 2015 roster will be led by new addition Johnny Powless, who was acquired in an off-season trade on the day of the NLL Entry Draft, along with forward Joel McCready from Rochester. The Stealth also acquired defenceman Rory Smith and goaltender Eric Penney in another draft day deal with Buffalo.

Other newcomers on the Stealth roster include Tyler Hass, acquired from Minnesota in the off-season, and free agent Tyler Burton.

This season, the Stealth will feature twelve returning players from last year’s squad including veterans Rhys Duch, Ilija Gajic, Tyler Garrison, Curtis Hodgson, Chris O’Dougherty, Lewis Ratcliff, Cliff Smith, and Tyler Richards.

“We have a solid corps of returning veterans who are very hungry this year,” Stealth president and general manager Doug Locker said. “Coupled with the players we acquired in the off-season, we feel the mix is there to contend deep into the post-season.”

The new look Stealth roster includes the addition of rookie transition Brandon Clelland, who was drafted in the third round (21st overall) of the 2014 NLL Entry Draft this past September.

“We were really impressed with our draft class and they performed extremely well during camp,” continued Locker. “All three of the players we kept on our twenty-four man roster are going to contribute for us this season.”

After making it to the Champions Cup Finals in 2013, the Stealth missed the playoffs last season, and will look to get back to their winning ways in 2015.

“We really like this group and can’t wait to get on with the next phase of developing our team in preparation for our opening game on January 3,” Locker said. “The hard work and intensity we have seen throughout camp will make for a very exciting on floor product. We are counting the days to get going.”

This year’s draft picks Conrad Chapman (No. 12) and Matt Delmonico (No. 30), along with Kyle Belton, who was acquired in a trade from New England this past summer, will start the season on the practice roster.

The Stealth will be celebrating their second season of lacrosse in the Lower Mainland in 2015 as they kick off the regular season on the road against the Calgary Roughnecks at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 3.

Vancouver will play its home opener on Saturday, Jan. 10 when the Stealth host the Toronto Rock at 7 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre. Tickets are available at www.StealthLAX.com.

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