“The real deal”: Warman’s Hruska, an NLL first-rounder, is a goalie on the move


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“The Rush,” he added, “are really well known, but the Swat aren’t. I hope people take notice of that, and understand the talent level we’ve got here. We have more guys like him, who are capable of making that jump. I think in the future, we’re going to see guys going first, second round out of Saskatchewan, and Laine is the guy who’s the thin edge of the wedge for us.”

Estevan’s Wyatt Haux, a transition player who also comes out of the Swat program, went to the Rush in the sixth round Thursday, 92nd overall.

Hruska left Saskatchewan this past winter, lived with an aunt and uncle in Whitby, and played for the Arena Lacrosse League’s Whitby Steelhawks. It gave him an extended look at lacrosse, Ontario-style, and he was named the league’s rookie of the year as well as a second-team all-star.

He learned to play the game by watching NLL videos on YouTube, before the Saskatchewan Rush came to town, and became a goalie in his second year of peewee when another goaltender quit.

“I love everything about it. It’s a unique craft, and you can always learn from it,” he said when asked why the position holds so much allure for him.

SASKATOON, SK--SEPTEMBER 18/2020 -0919 sports nll goalie - Laine Hruska from Warman was taken in the first round of Thursday's National Lacrosse League draft by the Georgia Swarm and 13th overall, the highest pick yet for a Saskatchewan player. Photo taken in Saskatoon, SK on Friday, September 18, 2020. (Saskatoon StarPhoenix/Matt Smith)
Laine Hruska from Warman was taken in the first round of Thursday’s National Lacrosse League draft by the Georgia Swarm and 13th overall, the highest pick yet for a Saskatchewan player. Photo taken in Saskatoon, SK on Friday, September 18, 2020. Photo by Matt Smith /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

“I’ve been asked this a million times, and I can never answer that question very well. I think the best answer is just the pressure. I’m a guy who loves a little bit of pressure; I like a little bit of a struggle, and a little bit of pressure. That’s what keeps me hopping between the pipes.”

Word spread fast through the lacrosse community, about this kid in Saskatchewan who’s stopping balls better than anybody else. The Swat loaned him to Calgary teams for a couple of Minto Cup appearances, and Paul thinks there will be more of those in his immediate future.

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