Thomas Vaesen of the Nanaimo Timbermen takes on a Victoria Shamrocks player during a BCJALL game at the Cowichan Arena in 2019. (Citizen file)

Thomas Vaesen of the Nanaimo Timbermen takes on a Victoria Shamrocks player during a BCJALL game at the Cowichan Arena in 2019. (Citizen file)

Cowichan’s Thomas Vaesen picked in first round of NLL draft

Vaesen goes 14th overall to Buffalo Bandits on Saturday

Shawnigan Lake’s Thomas Vaesen, who grew up playing minor lacrosse in the Cowichan Valley, was selected in the first round of the 2021 National Lacrosse League draft on Saturday.

The Buffalo Bandits snapped up Vaesen 14th overall with a pick that previously belonged to the Albany Firewolves.

“Getting drafted was probably the best feeling of my life,” Vaesen said. “It’s something that I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid, and to watch it turn into a reality was a feeling I can’t describe. So much of my life has been dedicated to the sport, and to see it pay off is incredible.”

Vaesen has spent the last four years at Montevallo University in Alabama. As team captain in 2021, he scored 48 goals and assisted on 20 more for 68 points in 14 games. After graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in spring 2021, Vaesen has returned to Montevallo for his fifth year, pursuing an MBA.

Vaesen’s senior A rights belong to the Langley Thunder, who selected him in the 2021 Western Lacrosse Association draft this past February. He played his junior A lacrosse with the Nanaimo Timbermen, recording 100 points (53 goals and 47 assists) in 21 games during the 2019 season. In 2018, he helped Canada to a gold medal at the World Junior Lacrosse Championships.

“I plan to finish up here at school this year, hopefully have a successful WLA season with Langley this summer, and then head out to training camp with the Bandits next year,” Vaesen said.

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