Cannons did a lot of their roster building via free agency and trades. Joining the boom squad, and almost all acquired by new Head Coach/HM Brian Holman, are Marcus Holman, Matt Kavanagh, Brodie Merrill, Kyle Hartzell, Adam Ghitelman, Matt Rees, Jeff Trainor, and others. Because of trades in the last year, the Cannons only had two picks to use; the 9th pick and the 25th pick. With that little in the way of draft assets, getting the picks right was critical. The offense feels pretty firm, but Holman mentioned defense as an area where they wanted some more depth. Merrill is on the holdout list, and he and Hartzell are the oldest players in the league. Young poles to go with Jake Pulver and Jack Kielty looked to be good targets. The picks:
Selections: Matt Campbell, Grant Ammann
Best Pick: Matt Campbell
Biggest Risk: Grant Ammann
I would bet that for a minute there, the Cannons might have thought they were getting Will Bowen. The Hoya superstar was sliding in the first round, and fell all the way to the Chaos at 7. With the big four poles off the board, Chaos found themselves able to go best available, which was likely the plan coming in. Villanova’s Matt Campbell was the pick at nine, which is a great pick. Much of the Cannons offense is converted attackmen. Drenner, Nolting, even Donville, could all be thought of as attackmen playing midfield. Campbell is a natural midfielder, and a big time shooter. His percentage is a little on the low side, but he has been the go to guy for Nova for years. With the Cannons, on the field with Lyle and company, he’ll get a weaker matchup, and he’ll get better looks at goal.
Grant Ammann was the pick at 25, a defender from High Point. The Cannons needed to grab a pole who can play for them right away. Ammann is a CT machine, one of the DI leaders this season, which has always been a stat that PLL coaching staffs value. Pulver has always been among the best in the PLL at causing turnovers. Both of them are excellent as opportunistic doublers. The Cannons defensive midfield are solid on ball defenders. Put those together, and you have plenty of chances to send a good aggressive double and cause a turnover. It’s a risky way to play, but it’s something the Chaos have done well and relied on Blaze Riorden to make saves. The Cannons may be doing the same with Ghitelman.
Another pole is a good move for the Cannons. More defenders who are good off the ball, and good on ground balls. Wilson Stephenson is a great fit if he can go. Sam Cambere is known to these team from the Utah connections and is a great fit. John Geppert playing multiple spots is worth a call as well.