The PLL entry draft was our first taste of the PLL/MLL merger and it didn’t disappoint. We saw 24 players enter the league with many more entering the player pool. We look at how each addressed the draft.
PLL Entry Draft Roster Recaps, Part 1
Coach Bates made a splash this offseason when he traded midfielder Ian MacKay to the Chaos for attackmen Connor Fields. At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea. With a solid attack group already, why trade a midfielder for a guy who is a true attackmen but will most likely take runs through the box? The reason is simple: Connor Fields has a seemingly unlimited ceiling.
The expansion draft saw the Archers lose Curtis Corley (D), Josh Currier (M), and Brendan Fowler (FO) to the Cannons LC. This left Coach Bates with a few needs to consider: offensive midfield and defense depth. Both of these needs were addressed through Graeme Hossack (D), Ryan McNamara (M), and Warren Jeffrey (D).
Hossack hasn’t played field in a few years, but the moment he was announced, he instantly became pick 1B in the draft. The “Mimico Moose” Warren Jeffrey adds even more size to the defensive unit, while Ryan McNamara adds a literal do-it-all midfielder who makes everyone else’s job easier on offense.
The Archers now have one of the most formidable defenses in the league.
The Bulls rebuild is interesting in that pretty much every fan of the PLL, even those who hate the team, were interested to see the squad blown up. This offseason we got exactly what we wanted. First we saw the highly anticipated 2020 PLL entry draft attackmen, Rob Pannell, traded to the ‘Woods for picks.
Then we saw league front man and face of the team get traded.
Then a day later, they trade another attackman in Ryan Brown, one of the best shooters in the world, for another pick.
With only two attackmen on the roster going into Thursday night (Chris Cloutier, Eric Law), the team needed to address that unit. It did just that by selecting Daniel Bucaro and Brendan Sunday. Bucaro was a human highlight reel for a stacked Outlaws offense, showing that he is one of the game’s best dodgers. His style of play will compliment Law and Cloutier nicely. Sunday adds another athletic attackman who loves to play above the cage. He also has the ability (as does Bucaro) to take runs out of the box if needed. All of a sudden, the Atlas look more athletic and more versatile on offense.
Coach Rubeor didn’t stop by addressing the offense, using two picks on Michael Rexrode and Andrew Newbold. Rexrode is plug-and-play and a big upgrade at close. He’s great off ball but also plays with an edge on ball. Newbold is an upgrade in transition – he and Craig Chick can now take turns roaming the middle of the field.
Sean Quirk wasted no time trading/swapping picks to acquire Paul Rabil. The idea that Rabil would be on the Cannons was a surprise to no one; it’s where we all think he’ll end his career. The shock was at the price Quirk paid to make it happen. Coach Quirk then shifted his focus to a expansion/entry/college draft plan. The advantage he had is knowing that he could build a team through expansion with an idea of who his entry picks could be, and then using the college draft to fill any remaining holes.
After the expansion draft, we knew the Cannons needed an attackman, and to no one’s surprise, they drafted lacrosse legend Lyle Thompson. They followed that pick addressing their defense by again adding one of the world’s best players: defensive mid Zach Goodrich. Now, the second-worst kept secret behind the Lyle Thompson pick was Quirk selecting his former MLL goalie and business partner Nick Marrocco (G). Marrocco gives the Cannons a starting goalie and completes the goalie unit, as they’ve already selected Jacob Stover in the expansion draft.
Ohhhhh Canada….. I both love and appreciate the fact that Coach Towers in unapologetic in his approach to roster building. Part of me thinks he’s trying to snag an NLL job given the heavy box flavor the Chaos have. Connor Fields was struggling to find his role in version two of the Chaos, which saw Canadian superstar Curtis Dickson take a large role. So what does Towers do? He trades the American NLL player for a Canadian NLL player, moving Fields to the Archers in exchange for additional midfield scoring from Ian MacKay.
The PLL entry draft played out beautifully for Towers, seemingly filling needs created by the expansion draft.
The Cannons took Tommy Kelly, who had an incredible 2020 performance, and the Chaos draft Max Adler to step right in. Adler wasn’t a lock to be available at pick No. 8 as he was the first and only FOGO drafted. Assuming he transitions well to the PLL rules, he will be an immediate impact.
The Cannons also took Deemer Class (M). Pair that with the retirement of Kevin Buchanan, and the Chaos needed some help at the midfield. The addition of Challen Rogers (Toronto Rock) and Kyle Jackson (Halifax Thunderbirds) give the Chaos more guys who can seamlessly step in and run the Chaos style of offense. Additionally, Towers adds guys who won’t disrupt the locker room and create opportunities for everyone around them.
Tomorrow we move to the second part of our PLL entry draft roster recaps, where we will breakdown the Chrome, Redwoods, Waterdogs, and Whipsnakes.