Just two seasons after being runner up to Jeff Teat for National Lacrosse League rookie of the year, Patrick Dodds is ready to take the next step in his career, back in green.
The pride of Victoria, BC has always had to prove himself, whether it was in minor lacrosse, junior and even pro, where the team who drafted him originally, left him out to dry in the 2021 expansion draft.
“It was a weird start because I got drafted by Calgary before COVID. I was pumped up to be a Roughneck, but then the season got cancelled, so we didn’t even get a training camp or nothing. Then no season, the expansion draft rolls around and they chose not to protect me,” said Dodds.
While fuel wasn’t needed for the fire, Dodds exploded on the scene with Panther City Lacrosse Club in 2021/22. In December for his first NLL game, the former Shamrock star had a goal and four assists against the Philadelphia Wings in a 12-11 overtime loss.
But all along, the date circled on the schedule was always February 20th. His first game against the Calgary Roughnecks, the team that let PCLC scoop him up for free. Despite another one-goal loss, Dodds carried the offence again with a goal and five assists.
“Of course, I wanted to make them pay, right? I mean I see their side of they never saw me play in camp or anything like that, so they didn’t have to protect me, but at the same time, you come in there and aim to prove people wrong.”
After 17 games in his rookie season, he amassed an incredible 26 goals and 58 assists.
In Dodds second pro season, the production dwindled after Panther City chose to bring in 38-year-old forward Callum Crawford to anchor the righties with Jon Donville.
“I have no hard feelings there. It’s mutual respect with both TK and Bob Hamley. I guess it’s just pro sports, right? You get traded and keep playing. It wasn’t the situation for me and I’m looking forward to playing in Saskatchewan and being a part of this organization.”
While 50 points in 18 games felt like a down year to Dodds, it would be considered a career year for many national leaguers. Since the 2018 championship, only five Saskatchewan Rush forwards have eclipsed the 50-point plateau.
“How I like to play offence is to keep the ball zipping around, get everybody involved, because it really doesn’t matter who scores. If we can put up 12 to 15 on the board, I think that’s a good night from the offensive side, so that’s the expectation with a lot of younger and more athletic guys,”
Now teamed up with one of his childhood best friends in Zach Manns, and the likes of other British Columbia weapons like Robert Church, Clark Walter and Nathaniel Kozevnikov, the bar has been raised and simply put, the end goal is a ring.
“I’m never satisfied.” – Patrick Dodds