By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columist

No. 42: December 19, 2002The Bandits trade Ken Montour and a third-round draft choice in 2004 to Columbus for Mark Steenhuis.

The first round of the 2002 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft featured two players who would become cornerstones of the Buffalo Bandits for years to come. Billy Dee Smith was the one who was drafted by the Bandits, going third overall. Columbus took Mark Steenhuis at the No. 7 spot.

Steenhuis had 30 points in his rookie season for the Landsharks, and was from St. Catharines. Buffalo had acquired goalie Ken Montour from Columbus during the 2002 season, and he was the price for bringing Steenhuis to Buffalo.

It proved to be a great fit. Steenhuis’ point total slowly rose through the years to the point where it peaked in 2009. That’s when he had 51 goals (tied for the league lead) and 50 assists for 101 points. Steenhuis finished the 2018 season with a career total of 459 goals in 266 games. He’ll probably end up in the NLL Hall of Fame, and he and his brother-in-law – Smith – are candidates to have their uniform number retired by the Bandits at some point. Montour eventually was traded back to the Bandits, and had some great moments before concussion issues forced his retirement.

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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