Scott Ranger is returning to Victoria as the Shamrocks completed a "blockbuster" deal to acquire the Nanaimo Timbermen on Wednesday.
Ranger was the captain of the Timbermen and led the Western Lacrosse Association in goals and points each of the last two seasons. He has been a member of the Timbermen since 2005, when they selected him in the first round of the WLA draft from the Victoria junior Shamrocks.
Going to Nanaimo are the Shamrocks top two selections in the 2013 WLA draft, Kyle Dexter (Nanaimo Jr. Timbermen) and Jake Emms (Jr. Shamrocks), both second-rounders. Nanaimo also gets the Shamrocks' second-round picks in 2014 and 2015. The latter pick subject to an first-round upgrade, should the Shamrocks host the Mann Cup this year or reach it next year.
Ranger requested the trade, as Timbermen general manager Earl Nicholson said Ranger indicated he might only play another year or two of summer lacrosse.
"He'd like to have a chance at a Mann Cup ring…" said Nicholson. "For all the service that he's given us we wanted to give him the shot, as long as we could get a deal that would work for us and we think we've got one."
The T-men also negotiated with a mainland team, but couldn't work out an arrangement. The Shamrocks were the preferred destination for Ranger, who played three seasons of junior in Victoria, from 2002 to 2004.
The sniper is Nanaimo bred and was the first-ever draft choice of the senior A Timbermen in 2005. In eight seasons playing for his hometown team, Ranger only reached the WLA post-season once, in 2007.
"I have a lot of history in that organization and obviously the travel is easier up and down the Island. I can get home to my family and I don't have to worry about making that last ferry every night," Ranger said.
"I like where (the Shamrocks) are going, their youth and their energy. Hopefully I can contribute to that team and make them better and make that push to that Mann Cup that's out west this year."
Assuming the Shamrocks return its core of scorers, Ranger complements a dearth of forwards with Corey Small, Ryan Benesch, Derek Lowe and transition star Jeff Shattler. All five were in the top seven of WLA scoring in 2012.
Nicholson said trading Ranger is the hardest move he's had to make as a general manager.
"Scott and I go way back, right through minor and intermediate and junior," said Nicholson. "It was real tough but I'd say it's a good trade for both clubs."
Dexter and Emms are excited to be play for the Timbermen. Dexter was a standout transition player for the junior T-men in 2010 while Emms captained the junior Shamrocks last year and is a solid two-way player.
Ranger is currently playing his ninth National Lacrosse League season with the Calgary Roughnecks. He played for the junior Shamrocks.
- With files from Greg Sakaki/Nanaimo News Bulletin