Chrome won the Championship Series in DC, showing off just how dangerous their offensive personnel really can be. They did this without Rookie of the Year Brendan Nichtern. Nichtern has military commitments this summer, meaning his availability is basically week to week. He’ll miss the first three weeks of the season, then have some games where he can play, before having spotty availability again later in the year. Chrome has pieces in place to help with the absence: Jackson Morrill has played X very well in the past. Head Coach/GM Tim Soudan stressed a need in the midfield that he wanted to address. Another offensive creator was something he was after, and he’d likely have a look to get at least one. He also said defensive depth, both LSM depth and at close, was key. The picks:
Selections: Sam Handley, Troy Hettinger, Jack Myers, Cross Ferrera
Best Pick: Sam Handley
Biggest Risk: Jack Myers
Sam Handley at four was not something we all saw coming. Yes, I mock drafted him there, but I did it in an effort to just put him where he first best, not what I actually thought would happen. Soudan gets the best of both. An excellent fit, and a major need met. Handley is a combination of size, speed, and skill that the sport hasn’t seen in years. If he was in the same draft as Myles Jones, I’d take him ahead of Myles Jones. The “big boy” midfield line has been a Soudan mainstay, Handley is the latest. He’s a day one game changer.
Troy Hettinger is a steal and in other drafts, would go even higher than the second round. Hettinger seamlessly moves between LSM and close defense. Turn on the Duke game, you’ll see him do well in matchups against both Brennan O’Neill and Andrew McAdorey, a testament to the fact that he can guard multiple types of players. Don’t just look at the box score, watch the game. Watch the possessions. You’ll be impressed. Chrome may be looking at the retirement of Jesse Bernhardt fairly soon, Hettinger picks up right where he leaves off.
Jack Myers slid a bit in this draft. In pre draft media, Paul Rabil said he considered Myers a top ten talent. Physically, he’s an imposing presence who attacks from X to create. A reason he may have slid is that X is really where does his best. His play with the Buckeyes doesn’t suggest to me he’d be comfortable coming out of the box, other than to just carry his man to an invert from X. While Nichtern is out, Myers satisfies a need for them. He can be the guy for them at X. When Nichtern is back, or if Morrill outplays him, it becomes harder to see exactly what Myers role is.
Finally, Chrome took the only DIII player of the draft, Cross Ferrera from Salisbury. He’s in his sixth year, and is one of the highest scoring career players every (not just because he’s played this long). At 6’2, 200 lbs, Ferrera can be physically imposing. But if you try and guard him with a big defenseman, he plays angles well and is excellent at punishing a poor approach or poor footwork from his defender.
Nichtern’s availability questions get answered at least in part by the drafting of Jack Myers. A few more weapons on the offensive end would be a solid adds, as would another pole. They identified a need for more poles both at LSM and for the aging Bernhardt and Mike Manley, but only picked up one pole in the draft.
Max Waldbaum, Brian Cameron, BJ Farrare, and Wilson Stephenson should be camp targets if available.