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MCLA Players Playing in the NLL

Many MCLA and MDIA players have gone on to play professionally in the MLL and NLL. There are currently ten active players in the NLL who played in the MCLA for at least one season. While I understand that their junior box careers probably contributed a lot more to their professional box lacrosse success, I thought it was fair to at least give a shout out to the MCLA teams they also played for.

Kevin Crowley


College
Simon Fraser (2007)
Stony Brook (2008-11)

Professional
Philadelphia (2012-14, 2019-20)
New England (2015, 2016-18)
Toronto (2015)
San Diego (2022-Present)

Born in New Westminster, BC, Crowley played at New Westminster Secondary and for the New Westminster Salmonbellies for Junior A and Senior A. His first year of college he played at Simon Fraser in the PNCLL. He put up 29 goals and 15 assists and was named Second Team PNCLL Faceoff. The following year he transferred to Stony Brook and scored 131 goals and 101 assists in four years putting him second all-time in points for the Seawolves. He was drafted No.1 overall in both the MLL and NLL, something that has happened only two other times.

In ten seasons in the MLL, Crowley scored 153 goals and 78 points and played in the last non-COVID MLL
season. This past PLL preseason he was signed by the Chaos making him the first person to play MCLA and get signed by a PLL team. He opted for offseason shoulder surgery however and never played a game. Going into his 12th NLL season, he currently has played 177 games, scored 355 points, and 466 assists.

Cam Holding


College
Grand Valley State (2008-09, 2011)
Florida Southern (2010)

Professional
Edmonton (2011)
Colorado (2012-18)
San Diego (2019-Present)

Born in Whitby, ON, Holding played at DeWitt HS in Michigan outside of Lansing as well as for the Whitby Warriors of Ontario Jr. A for two years. He attended Grand Valley State for his freshman and sophomore years, before transferring to NCAA DII Florida Southern, then going back to GVSU in 2011. In 52 games he scored 266 goals and had 98 assists, including 121G/33A his senior year when he was named OPOTY. He holds the MCLA DII Tournament record for goals in a game with 11. He was drafted 38th overall in 2011 by Edmonton and played there for a season. Holding then went on to play six seasons in Colorado before going to San Diego at 8th overall in the 2018 expansion draft. He currently has 32 goals and 80 assists in 142 games. He was also the head coach at Michigan State from 2017-18 and helped the Spartans win their first MCLA National Championship in 2018.

Curtis Manning


College
Simon Fraser (2006-09)

Professional
Calgary (2011-Present)

Born in Surrey, BC, Manning played at Fraser Heights as well as for the New Westminster Salmonbellies Junior A team. While at Simon Fraser, he played all over the field and was named an Honorable Mention All-American Attackman, First Team All-PNCLL Midfield, two-time First Team All-PNCLL LSM, Second Team All-American LSM, and First Team All-American SSDM. Drafted 6th overall in 2008, he did not play full consecutive NLL seasons until 2013 in order to become a medical doctor, which he still practices today. In 175 games he has 23 goals, 55 assists, and 779 loose balls.

Zach Higgins


College
Davenport (2009-12)

Professional
Minnesota (2013-15)
Georgia (2016)
Calgary (2017)
Buffalo (2018-19)
Philadelphia (2020-Present)

Higgins started his Junior career with the Clarington Green Gaels before moving up to the Whitby Warriors where he won the 2011 Minto Cup. While at Davenport, he had at least 58% save percentage every year and was two-time All-CCLA and helped DU win the 2011 DII National Championship. After going undrafted, he signed to the practice squad for Minnesota and also played for the Durham TurfDogs during that time. He made his first start late in the 2014 season and really became a full-time starter when he got to Philadelphia. Inside Lacrosse named him the fourth best goalie in the league going into this season.

Alex Buque


College
Davenport (2011-12)
American International (2013)

Professional
Colorado (2015-17)
Buffalo (2018)
New England (2019)
New York (2020)
Edmonton (2022-Present)

From Whitby, ON, Buque played for the Whitby Warriors for five seasons, including two with Holding, as well as for Leonard J. Austin HS. He started playing at Davenport in college and then played his last college season at NCAA DII American International in Springfield, MA. In 2011, Buque backed up current Wings goalie, Zach Higgins, during the team’s DII National Championship run. The following year as a starter he had 124 saves with a 57.4% save percentage and was named First Team CCLA and Third Team All-American. Drafted 17th overall in 2014 by Colorado. He played three seasons there before going to Buffalo, New England, New York, each for a season and is now with Edmonton. He has a 76.3% career save percentage.

Josh Jubenville


College
Davenport (2017-19)

Professional
Toronto (2020-Present)

From Windsor, ON, Jubenville played Junior A lacrosse for the Windsor Clippers from 2013-2016 and then the Six Nations Arrows in 2017. He was then drafted 40th overall in the 2017 Entry Draft, but stayed at Davenport until 2019, their last MCLA season. He had 66 goals and 31 assists in just 29 games, but was limited to just a goal and an assist in 2018 against Purdue. In his first NLL season in 2020, he had 11 points in 11 games for Toronto. He was an assistant coach at Davenport from 2020-21 while getting his MBA there.

Blake McDonald


College
Essex CC (2015-16)
Davenport (2018-19)
Davenport (NCAA DII) (2020)

Professional
Philadelphia (2021-Present)

From Six Nations, ON, McDonald played Junior A for the Six Nations Arrows from 2013-15 before going to Essex CC, and then later Davenport. In the last two Davenport MCLA seasons he had 30 goals and 47 assists in 26 games, but was unable to score against the dominating 2018 Purdue defense. He was on Davenport’s first NCAA team in 2020 and had 15 goals and 9 assists in the six games they were able to play. After going undrafted, he attended the Wings open tryouts in 2021 and was the only one to get a contract among the 85 talented guys that showed up.

Sam Clare


College
Simon Fraser (2012-15)

Professional
Vancouver (2020)
Panther City (2021-Present)

A native of Lander, BC, Clare played Junior lacrosse for the Lander Pioneers and then went on to Simon Fraser. In 69 games he had 159 goals and 39 assists and was a three-time All-American and four-time PNCLL. He later played in the American Lacrosse League which got him noticed by the Burnaby Lakers. After playing well in the WLA, he got a contract with the Warriors in 2020 where he had 8 points in 8 games. In 2021, he was taken 8th overall in the expansion draft. After having a solid 2021 season in Texas, he decided to holdout on the 2022 to focus on his family in Vancouver. His rights still remain with Panther City however.

Dean Fairall


College
Grand Canyon (2013-16)

Professional
Panther City (2021-Present)

A native of St. Albert, AB, Fairall played Junior A for the Edmonton Eclipse and the St. Albert Miners before going to Grand Canyon in 2013, GCU’s second season in the MCLA after dropping the NCAA DII team. In 56 games with the Lopes he put up 146 goals and 108 assists and was a three-time All-American. In 2015 after sneaking by a very good Purdue team, they won the DI National Championship. After graduating, Fairall played Senior lacrosse in the WLA for the Coquitlam Adanacs and the Burnaby Lakers before being signed by Panther City last season. In his rookie NLL season, he had 14 goals and 17 assists in 10 games and received a couple of rookie honors.

Cam Wengreniuk


College
Grand Canyon (2016-19)

Professional
Panther City (2022-Present)

From Edmonton, AB, Wengreniuk he played Junior A for the Okotoks Raiders before going to GCU. During his time in Phoenix he scored 158 goals and had 50 assists in 55 games and was a two-time All-American. He went on to play Senior A lacrosse in the WLA for the Nanaimo Timberman and had 14 goals and 12 assists in 17 games in 2019. He was signed by Panther City in August.