In Davis Vandane’s first season in the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League, he looked like anything but a rookie for the Yorkton Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder dominated both sides of the floor, racking up 11 goals in just four games and earning an invite to the PGLL All-star Game.
“He really impressed me,” said Bulldogs head coach Joey Choptuik. “He controlled the game and was a big presence out there. He has a lot of talent and strong instincts.”
Shockingly, 21-year-old Vandane never played in a competitive lacrosse league since he was 14 before this season. But back when he did play, he thrived in the sport and was receiving interest to represent Team Canada in national lacrosse events.
“I haven’t played since peewee when I as about 14-years-old when Yorkton had minor lacrosse teams,” said Vandane. “I really enjoyed it back then. I went to a national tournament once and was hoping to play for Team Canada down the road.”
“I feel I didn’t lose my skills even though I didn’t play for a long time. The first practice I was quite rusty, but once I got three or four practices under my belt I felt good out there. I didn’t expect to score as much as I did, but I thought I’d do okay this year.”
Unfortunately for Vandane and the Bulldogs, the Yorkton native’s hot start to the season came to a crashing halt in just his fourth game against the Prince Albert Predators on June 2. He rolled his ankle after falling awkward in a race for the ball.
“I was running for a loose ball and landed awkwardly,” said Vandane. “I hope I can make a comeback for the playoffs. I’d really like to come back and win a championship with the Bulldogs because I’m getting too old to play junior lacrosse.”
Choptuik has his hopes up to see his star scorer back in the lineup.
“It would be great to get him back for the playoffs,” said the head coach. “He would boost our offense and our team is short on players, so we could definitely use another body.”
The reason Vandane took a step back from lacrosse as a young teenager was to give him more time to fully concentrate on hockey. It seems this was a smart decision; he went on to have a prominent junior hockey career as a defenceman in the Western Hockey League, spending time with the Saskatoon Blades, Spokane Chiefs, and Prince Albert Raiders, who he played for last year in his overage season.
“I’m happy I pursued hockey,” said Vandane. “I love the game and had some success in the WHL.”
Vandane is poised to take the next step in his hockey career next year. Right now, he is sitting on two options – to play for the Idaho Steelheads in the East Coast Hockey League or the University of Calgary of the CIS.
“I’m not sure what I’ll do yet since I’m still reviewing my options,” said Vandane. “I committed to the University of Calgary last week. If I go there, I’ll take a business course. But I might still go to the ECHL. I kind of have to wait until after the NHL draft for how everything will look for playing pro next year. I don’t have a time frame on when to make my final decision, though.”