WLA Announces Territorial Picks; Bellies Add Armitage & Stewart

by Paul Horn

Today all Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) teams have announced their Graduating Junior Territorial Protections, with the Salmonbellies selecting Noah Armitage and Ben Stewart.

The Bellies are excited to add Armitage and Stewart to the Senior club, after their distinguished careers with the Junior Bellies.  Both players finished their 2022 season with the Junior Thunder after a late season trade, but they were eligible for Territorial Protection because they played the majority of their junior careers in the Royal City.

Armitage is a 6'4" 210 pound leftie who notched 3.6 regular season points per game last season.  After being added to a stacked Thunder offence, he raised that average to 3.8 ppg during the playoffs.  In both the regular season and playoffs, Armitage's goal-scoring and assist numbers were identical, demonstrating his prowess as both a shooter and a playmaker.  He is also a skilled NCAA attack player for the Stonybrook Seawolves, where he managed 35 points over 12 games as a junior in 2022.

At 6'2", Stewart is also a big leftie with a scoring touch.  In 13 regular season BCJALL games, he managed 29 goals, making him 6th in the league for the season.  Like Armitage, he can also distribute the ball, earning 23 helpers last year, for a 4.0 regular season ppg average.  His NCAA credentials are also strong.  He is a senior for the Wagner Seawolves, where he holds a regular spot as a midfielder and is known for his speed and smarts in transition on the field, and his academic ability in the classroom.

Bellies GM Ray Porcellato has high praise for both players.  "Noah Armitage and Ben Stewart are absolutely blue chip prospects that I think have extremely high ceilings. They both have the size, athleticism, and the lacrosse IQ to play at the highest level so we are excited to have them join the Sr Bellies and reach their full potential at Queens Park in the years to come.”

2023 Territorial Protection for all WLA clubs is as follows:


Protected Player #1

Protected Player #2

Maple Ridge Burrards

Drew Andre

Isaac Ngyou

Burnaby Lakers

Matteo Tack

Nic Dos Santos

New Westminster Salmonbellies

Noah Armitage

Ben Stewart

Victoria Shamrocks

Patrick Dodds

Casey Wilson

Nanaimo Timbermen

Justin Geddie

Ryan Sheridan

Coquitlam Adanacs

Adam Noakes

Nick Musso

Langley Thunder

Matt Abbott

Kyle Brunsch

The Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) has scheduled its 2023 Graduating Junior Draft for Tuesday January 31 at 7 p.m. The draft will be webcast live at WLALacrosse.com and hosted by longtime lacrosse play-by-play broadcaster, Jake Elliott.

For the full, up-to-date draft order, visit WLALacrosse.com.

Draft results will be presented live at WLALacrosse.com and on official WLA social media channels. Check your team’s social media or use the hashtag #WLADraft to participate in the conversation.