Victoria native Cole Pickup was selected 22nd in the second round of the National Lacrosse League Draft on Sept. 18 (Photo courtesy of Jay Wallace)

Victoria native Cole Pickup was selected 22nd in the second round of the National Lacrosse League Draft on Sept. 18 (Photo courtesy of Jay Wallace)

Cole Pickup drafted by Calgary Roughnecks in National Lacrosse League Draft

The Victoria native spent the last four seasons with the Jr. Shamrocks

Cole Pickup is a well known athlete on the West Shore playing for the Victoria Grizzlies for four seasons as well as suiting up for the Junior Victoria Shamrocks.

Currently, Pickup is a forward for the University of Nebraska Omaha men’s hockey team and while his focus for his athletic future is on hockey, his future as a lacrosse player also looks bright.

Last week Pickup was drafted 22nd overall in round two of the National Lacrosse League draft by the Calgary Roughnecks.

The 21-year-old Belmont grad said leading up to draft day, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

“I didn’t know because of hockey and stuff that people were going to put me on the back burner for now or what but I watched the first round in class. I was kind of following it on my phone while listening to the lecture,” Pickup said. “I got back [from class] and watched the rest of it on my laptop while me and my roommate made some dinner. It was pretty exciting.”

Pickup said he was honest with lacrosse personnel he encountered, explaining that hockey is top priority.

“Hockey is my number one and that is what I’m pursuing for now,” Pickup said. “Knock on wood, if it doesn’t work out, then I definitely have an opportunity with the Calgary Roughnecks now and I can’t wait for that, but at the same time, my main focus is just with hockey.”

Pickup has been part of the Shamrocks club for the past four seasons but doesn’t see himself playing in the WLA this year even with that draft coming up in January. During this past season, Pickup had 95 points including 58 assists and 37 goals in 19 games played. In 2016, he tallied 88 points with 37 goals and 51 assists in 21 games.

“I think I’m going to hang them up for a year and really focus on hockey and just try to have a good offseason and be ready for the next hockey season as well.”

The university freshman said he wouldn’t be where he is or drafted by the Roughnecks if it weren’t for the people within the Shamrocks organization.

“I’m pretty honoured to be selected by a high class organization like the Roughnecks. It’s pretty cool to get the recognition,” Pickup said. “I have to give a huge thanks to Terry Dennett, my coach last year and our general manager Wade Murray as well. They helped me a ton to develop as a player last year and they’ve always just trusted in my game.”

Pickup said another highlight of last season along with being captain was having the opportunity to play with his brother, Clark. “It was a big year last year and it obviously solidified me being picked in the NLL draft.”

jessica.fedigan@goldstreamgazette.com

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