Delby Powless, selected No. 1 by Buffalo in the National Lacrosse League entry draft last night, adds oomph to an already high-octane Bandits offence.
Feeding passes to the star Six Nations forward will be John Tavares, the all-time professional lacrosse assists leader.
"It's an incredible opportunity," Powless said. "He's been one of the premier players in the league for a long time and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited about the chance to play alongside him."
Powless was all-America at Rutgers university in New Jersey, scoring 63 goals in 29 career games for the Knights, and he led the Six Nations senior amateur team in scoring last summer with 63 points in only 13 games.
Buffalo general manager Kurt Silcott called the 5-foot-7 Powless, 24, a cousin of Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame member Gaylord Powless, a "phenomenal player."
"He's a proven goal scorer who plays tough, physical lacrosse," Silcott said. "We expect him to step right in and make an immediate impact on our team.
"Adding Delby to Tavares, [Mark]Steenhuis, [Jason]Crosbie and [Jonas]Derks will put a lot of pressure on any defensive group. We think that their skills will mesh very well and Delby will become an instant force in the NLL."
The Bandits went to the NLL championship game last season, losing 14-11 to Calgary in the final.
Powless is attending Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., a half-hour drive down the Queen Elizabeth Way from Buffalo. "It's nice to be picked by Buffalo," Powless said. "It's close to home and it's a good team."
Defencman Rory Glaves went No. 2 to the Vancouver Ravens. Glaves, a junior star in St. Catharines who played senior for the amateur Victoria Shamrocks last summer, will join the Ravens after competing his final semester at the University of Hartford this autumn. Ravens coach Walt Christianson also coached the Shamrocks.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Glaves said. "Walt's a great coach and they have a good staff there. I know they'll have us working hard and getting ready for that first game."
The San Jose Stealth had third choice in the draft, which was held by conference call, and took U.S. forward Ryan Boyle, a field lacrosse star at Princeton University, also in New Jersey.
Defenceman Darren Halls from the Ontario Lacrosse Association's junior Orangeville Northmen went fourth, to the Arizona Sting.
Forward Rob Van Beek of Pitt Meadows, B.C., the 2003 and 2004 British Columbia Lacrosse Association most-valuable player with the Port Coquitlam Saints, was the fifth pick, by the Philadelphia Wings.
The Rochester Knighthawks were to pick sixth but traded the spot along with veterans Derek Malawsky, Darcy Sweet and Brock Robertson to the new Minnesota Swarm for veterans Mike Accursi and Ken Millin, the eighth draft position and a fourth-round pick. Minnesota selected forward Ryder Bateman of Victoria.
Chris McKay, with three years of senior lacrosse under his belt in Victoria, went seventh to the Ravens. Mike Morrison of Whitby, Ont., who played summer lacrosse with the OLA senior Brooklin Redmen, went eighth to the Knighthawks.
Completing the first round, the NLL-champion Calgary Roughnecks took goaltender Matt Moorhouse, a standout in Surrey, B.C.
Toronto, having traded away its first-round pick, finally got a player in the No. 16 slot -- defenceman Jeff Summerfield of Brampton, Ont.
The 11-team league's schedule -- each team plays 16 games -- begins in January.