Buchan, Hill to serve key roles in ALL West Division

by Gary Ahuja

Two familiar faces in Lower Mainland lacrosse circles will serve in a pair of key roles for the new West Division of the Arena Lacrosse League.

Ken Buchan has been appointed Commissioner while Kevin Hill will act in a scouting/management role for the West Division.

“The Arena Lacrosse League is excited to add Ken and Kevin in their respective roles. They both have extensive resumes in the sport and will play vital roles in the launching of our new West Division,” said Paul St. John, the president of the Arena Lacrosse League.

“The addition of these two is just the beginning as we piece together what we know will be a top-level staff to lead in the development of western players with pro ambitions.”

Buchan’s involvement in the sport dates to 2000 when the Buchan family purchased the Western Lacrosse Association’s North Shore Indians franchise, which is now the Langley Thunder. He has spent the past two-plus decades overseeing the day-to-day operations as president and governor of the Langley Thunder’s three teams (Senior A, Junior A and Junior Tier 1).

“It is a privilege to be selected to serve in this role and I look forward to helping the new ALL West Division aid these young men in their quest to play the sport at the highest level,” Buchan said. “We are excited to get things going with the draft next month (November 20) and then the launch of our inaugural season on December 11.”

Originally from Six Nations, Hill moved to the Lower Mainland about 20 years ago. The former goaltender remains active in the game serving as general manager of the Western Lacrosse Association’s Burnaby Lakers as well as working as a western scout for the National Lacrosse League’s Halifax Thunderbirds. He was also a scout for the Iroquois Nationals at the 2019 World Lacrosse Indoor World Championship held at Langley Events Centre.

“I’m excited to be involved with the ALL and to give box lacrosse players the opportunity to play the game year-round,” Hill said. “This league will help develop players who have the goal of playing in the National Lacrosse League and I’m honoured to be a part of that.”

Hill's role will focus on ensuring the league has the best available talent playing while also supporting the teams' coaching staffs through the draft preparation and selection process.

Registration for interested players (who must be at least 18 years of age as of December 31, 2021) closes at 11:59 p.m. on November 19. There will also be a combine for the players where the teams' coaching staffs can assess the players ahead of the draft, which is scheduled for November 20.

The season is slated to begin December 11 and each of the four teams will play a 12-game schedule with Langley Events Centre hosting the games. The full schedule and team names, as well as coaching staffs, are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

About the Arena Lacrosse League: Formed in 2017, the ALL is regarded as the National Lacrosse League’s minor league, and with seven Ontario-based teams in the ALL prior to the launch of the ALL West, 15 per cent of the current NLL players have played at least one game in the ALL.

The ALL plays under the same game rules as the NLL, providing high-level competition and exposure that provides NLL management and executives the opportunity to monitor individual progress through game webcasting and statistics. Game evaluations from ALL West coaches will assist in development of players who are currently on NLL practice rosters or are ready for in-season call-ups.

To learn about the league, visit www.arenalacrosseleague.ca.