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PLL Draft Recap: Every Team's Picks, Waiver Adds, and Best Value Moves

The PLL Draft is now fully in the books. Fully in this case meaning the draft itself and the post draft waiver adds. Those past draft adds have become critical (I refer to it as Round 5 of the draft), as particularly this year, there are some special finds to be had in those ranks.


Here’s who everyone selected, plus their best pick for the value. The first number is the round the player was selected in, the number in the parentheses is the overall pick number.


BOSTON CANNONS


Draft Picks:

1(6) - Pat Kavanagh, A

2(14) - Alex Vardaro, M

4(30) - Scott Smith, D


Post Draft Adds:

Andrew Cook, M

Sterling Hupp, M

Carter Parlette, M

Mike Robinson, A


Best Addition: Pat Kavanagh


The Cannons had to be positively thrilled to watch pick after pick go by and Pat Kavanagh end up landing in their lap. In media availability earlier in the day, Coach Brian Holman was asked about the possibility of uniting Pat with his older brother Matt. He said, “I don’t want to tip my hand, but I think you guys could make a fair assumption that if he’s sitting down there at six…we’ll see.”


If Pat Kavanagh is there at six you take him. Fit, need, throw it all the window. He’s a franchise cornerstone attackman. As Ryan Boyle pointed out on the broadcast, the last time we wondered about fit with a Cannons pick was Asher Nolting, and that worked out. On top of that, Marcus Holman is 33 years old. Some guys play a very long time but once the early 30's arrive, it’s time for a GM to start having the succession plan in place. Check that box.


Andrew Cook is the only DIII player to be added to a roster for camp. He is not some undersized quick guy who isn’t at the DI level because of physical tools. At 6’2, 205, Cook has a pro ready build and skill set. He’s up to 102 points this year, and might just be the best midfielder in DIII. He’d be an impact player on Top 20 DI rosters.


Cannons made some waves adding an MCLA player, Sterling Hupp from Texas, post draft as well. It felt likely that new DC Kyle Hartzell would try and bring a Texas guy with him from the Longhorns. Going from MCLA to the pros is not easy. I’ll pull for him to crack the 25 man, but it could be a rough road.


CALIFORNIA REDWOODS


Draft Picks:

3(18) - Garrett Degnon, A

3(21) - Levi Anderson, A

4(29) - Chayse Ierlan, G

4(32) - Cole Kastner, D


Post Draft Adds:

Chris Conlin, D

Matt Knote, G

Pat Morrison, D

Chase Yager, M


Best Addition: Cole Kastner


Coach Nat St Laurent got to just kick back and enjoy the first couple rounds. He made what effectively became his picks weeks ago. The Redwoods didn’t think they’d get someone better than Chris Gray with the 5th pick, so they traded the 5th pick for him. They didn’t think they’d get someone better than Jared Conners at 13, so they traded the 13th pick for him. If you consider those two to be part of this draft haul, it’s a pretty good showing from the Redwoods.


Levi Anderson in a John Grant Jr offense is going to be fun to watch. Anderson can run out of the box for the Woods, there should be no concern of him playing the same spot as Garnsey. His style of play is a great counterbalance to some of the other offensive weapons. Your defense needs to be ready for the speed and elusiveness of Pannell, the creativity and “something from nothing” style of Garnsey, the offball shooting of Wes Berg, and now, the physicality and leverage play of a guy like Anderson. And of course, the midfield remains massive. Literally, they’re all huge. Anderson also is great as a pass first player, he sees the field really well, and with shooters like the Woods have, a skip to a shooter like Berg or Romar Dennis will be found and exploited.


Chayse Ierlan ahead of Will Mark was a move that surprised me. Ierlan is a solid goalie, but the book on him is that he can be streaky. When he runs hot, he’s a wall. Best in the business. When he runs cold, not so much. The margin between victory and defeat in the PLL is razor thin. Everyone is good enough to beat everyone else on a given day, regardless of records. It’s why teams can go from worst to first, and vice versa, in one offseason. Showing up to play a PLL game with a cold goalie might just mean you lose that day. At a minimum, you’re forced to go to your backup and play from behind for the day. Not enviable at the pro level.


Cole Kastner is a stash pick, and made with the last pick in the draft. Immediately following the draft, St Laurent said he does expect that Kastner will be available down the road after he’s done with a year of basketball at Stanford. If Kastner plays one year of basketball and then returns to lacrosse, this pick is a home run. Kastner would have been at worst the 2nd best available defender in this class, and a very reasonable pick for best available. Getting him with the last pick of the draft is a gift - as long as he plays.


CAROLINA CHAOS


Draft Picks:

1(4) - Shane Knobloch, N

2(12) - Eric Dobson, M

3(20) - Ross Scott, A

4(28) - Dylan Hess, M


Post Draft Adds:

Brayden Mayea, A

Roy Meyer, D

Jack Posey, D


Best Addition: Shane Knobloch


Before the draft, Coach Andy Towers said they had their guy they wanted at four, and for them not to take him, something miraculous would need to happen. After the draft, he said he got the guy they wanted at four. Knobloch is the perfect fit for what the Chaos have been building this offseason. Towers spoke about a “change in philosophy” on the offensive end, and it’s been obvious to anyone paying attention. This year, they have been adding players without as much of a box background, looking to be more dangerous and a more traditional field lineup through the midfield. Knobloch may show up to camp as the most dangerous weapon in the midfield for them. A lineup with him, Jules Heningburg, and whichever of Ross Scott or Brian Minicus doesn’t end up playing attack is a lineup that’s going to make some shorties look bad.


Post draft, the Chaos made the moves to address some openings that make plenty of sense. Johnny Surdick was moved to the Military List. With his availability up in the air, Jack Posey and Roy Meyer make a lot of sense. Surdick took wings on draws at times, Meyer can step in and down that. Posey can play down low for Surdick if the need arises. And just like the Cannons did with Kavanagh, there is some future planning here. CJ Costabile is 34 years old, meaning it’s time to start thinking about the LSMs of future. Troy Reh is still 28, and Ryan McNulty was added, but if a 1st team All American LSM is sitting there post draft and you have a need at the spot coming, it’s a no brainer.


Dylan Hess is a good stash pick. He’ll be playing football this coming year, so he won’t be on the field for Chaos this summer. But the SSDM class this year wasn’t tremendously deep. Hess is a pro SSDM, and if he was in the draft next year, he would not be sitting there in the 2nd half of round four. Stashing him was a savvy move if, like Kastner, you know he’s going to play for you. It’s much less of a risk than Kastner, because the Chaos didn’t have to deal a pick for Hess, but a risk nonetheless.



DENVER OUTLAWS


Draft Picks:

1(1) - Brennan O’Neill, A

2(9) - Jake Piseno, LSM

2(11) - Graham Bundy, M

3(19) - Josh Zawada, A

4(25) - Luke Wierman, FO


Post Draft Adds:

Mac Costin, M

Eli Fisher, M

Collin Krieg, G

Saam Olexo, D

Dalton Young, A/M


Best Addition: Dalton Young


I really liked the Outlaws draft. Look, of course O’Neill is the best pick they made. There have been some takes out there that it was always O’Neill, it was never Shellenberger, all of that talk was a smoke screen. I disagree. Shellenberger was in the running for this pick, as was Kavanagh, and I believe there were moments when it was going to be Shellenberger. Coach Soudan said he talked with his captains about it, and team leadership said they thought it should be Brennan. It’s noteworthy that Outlaws captains, and others in their locker room, are O’Neill’s Team USA teammates. They know more than what he can do on the field, and that he fits with them off of it. On the field, there is nobody like him. All three guys at the top of the draft were described as generational talents. To which, I continue to wonder, if there’s three of them how can they be once in a generation? But hyperbole aside, O’Neill is the true generational player. We just don’t make players like him. The physical skills, the strength, the speed, all in that frame, there won’t be another one of him for a long time.


I think Soudan must have wiped some sweat from his brow when Zawada was still there in the third round. All the pundits identified X attack, a QB for the offense, as the critical need for the Outlaws in this draft. After making three picks in the first 11 spots, Soudan hadn’t picked one yet. After he took Bundy in round two, with Shellenberger, Kavanagh, Brandau, and Malone all gone, he needed someone who can play behind the goal as a feed first play, and got him in Zawada. All said and done this year, Zawada may end up as Duke’s leading scorer. He leads Duke in assists as of this writing, and is just a point behind O’Neill for the team lead.


Dalton Young was a post draft steal for this year. Offensive weapons, in any way shape or form, were a need for this group. It’s important to try and build with some versatility though. Especially if you have multiple holes that need filling. Getting one guy who can fill several is huge. Young has never shot below 33%. He’s had 60+ points in each of the last three years. H’es had years with more goals than assists and years with more assists than goals. 26+ GBs for three straight years. 75 points this past year on 36 goals and 39 assists. He can be plugged in above or below the goal, out of the box or at attack.



MARYLAND WHIPSNAKES


Draft Picks:

1(3) - Ajax Zappitello, D

3(17) - TJ Malone, A

3(22) - Stephen Zupicich, LSM

4(27) - Adam Poitras, A


Post Draft Adds:

Scott Cole, A/M

Will Mark, G

Grant Haus, SSDM


Best Addition: TJ Malone


Whipsnakes had a conundrum. The big three are there, they pick third, they are getting one of them. But pre-draft, Coach Jim Stagnitta’s comments made it clear that they didn’t see things that way. The Whips had needs on offense yes, but they also had a big need on the defensive end following the retirement of Michael Ehrhardt and the trade that sent Bryce Young to the Cannons.


“What we’re looking at is, can we fulfill one of those needs at 17, as compared to having to fill it at 3. A couple positions, there’s much more depth. You can interpret that however you like,” Stagnitta said.


Malone making it to the Whips in the third round was the slide of the night. He had a first, maybe second round, grade from most pundits. The top of round three was not expected at all. In fact, post draft, Stagnitta said, “I wouldn’t have predicted Malone at 17. When Bates took [Dyson] Williams at 16, I was like holy s—, we’re going to get exactly what we need.”


They did. Stagnitta has been talking about drafting more dodgers, more weapons to take dodging pressure off or Zed Williams and Matt Rambo, since before last year’s draft. They added Tucker Dordevic and that should have solved things, but the Whipsnakes were never healthy enough to have the whole offense together. Brad Smith is currently on IR from a knee injury, meaning the Whips once again found themselves in need of someone who can not only dodge, but dodge poles. Stagnitta also pointed out that they Whips really haven’t had a true X attackman. Malone can give them that.


Scott Cole went undrafted, and that was a surprise. In terms of pure speed, he’s as fast as anyone else in this draft. It’s another dodging option for them, and he’ll likely see short sticks, even as he makes it clear he can beat them. Adding Will Mark is savvy as well, he was the 2nd best goalie available for a lot of analysts but went undrafted. Stagnitta carried three goalies all of last year, and it’s a good thing he did. Kyle Bernlohr has dealt with injuries and is 31. Brendan Krebs is the other goalie on the roster and looked good in relief of Bernlohr last year. The third goalie from a year ago, Brian Phipps, retired. Mark should compete for minutes right away.


NEW YORK ATLAS


Draft Picks:

1(2) - Connor Shellenberger, A

1(5) - Liam Entenmann, G

2(10) - Jake Stevens, M

4(26) - Tyler Carpenter, LSM


Post Draft Adds:

Chris Campbell, D (from Player Pool)

Payton Cormier, A

Tucker Garrity, SSDM

Jake Kapp, D

Devon McLane, A/M

Lance Tillman, A


Best Addition: Liam Entenmann


I went from calling the Entenmann pick the wrong move to being very incorrect about it in a matter of hours on Tuesday night. Might be a new record. Atlas were in the goalie market in this draft and it was no secret. Entenmann is, as Coach Mike Pressler noted after the draft, the clear number one in the draft. Pressler noted that just about any other position in the draft there was a discussion around who the best was, but goalie, it was clear. And he wanted his goalie. My doubts came because the Atlas used the 5th pick on Entenmann, and they picked again at 10th. In my eyes, it was a reasonable risk to expect Entenmann to be there at 10, because other teams drafting in between the two picks had bigger needs than goalie. But post draft, as Pressler stood a few feet away, Soudan said that if Entenmann had been on the board at nine, the Outlaws would have had a very hard time passing on him. Soudan said even as good as he thinks their goalies are, they really would have had a hard time passing Entenmann. The comment showed Pressler taking at Entenmann at five, and not risking it, was the right move. He gets his goalie, one who could be the backstop of his defense for a decade.


Post draft, the Atlas got the guy everyone wondered about. Payton Cormier went undrafted, despite being within striking distance of the all time goals record, and since having broken the all time goals record. It launched a lot of questions. Do coaches just not like his game? Is he playing summer box? The word around UVA was, Cormier wasn’t thrilled at going undrafted, and he made a statement about it with eight goals in the NCAA tournament game against St Joseph’s. Cormier is as good a finisher as there is in the draft. He has the classic Canadian “I know he doesn’t look open, but that’s wide open for him” skillset. Put the ball near him, he catches it and puts it on cage. Three straight 50+ goal seasons, this year he’s at 63 and counting. I don’t know how you get them all on the field at once, but a six on offense of Cormier, Connor Shellenberger, Xander Dickson, Jeff Teat, Eric Law, and Bryan Costabile sounds like a nightmare for a defense.


PHILADELPHIA WATERDOGS


Draft Picks:

1(7) - Matt Brandau, A

2(15) - Kenny Brower, D

3(23) - Marcus Hudgins, D

4(31) - Michael Boehm, A


Post Draft Adds:

AJ Mercurio, D

Alec Stathakis, FO


Best Addition: Kenny Brower


Philly got things started by taking Matt Brandau at 7th overall. This felt like a bit of a surprise, since before the draft new Head Coach Bill Tierney spoke about wanting to get a bit younger on the defensive end of the field. After the draft, he said they actually had draft scenarios where they took Kenny Brower at seven, but couldn’t pass on Brandau. It ultimately was a very savvy move, as Brower made it to the end of the second round and they were able to get him anyway, a pick that made Tierney very happy.


Post draft Tierney also said he thought the Whips might take Liam Entenmann, signaling that where the goalie went was very much up in the air and offering further evidence that was prudent of Atlas to grab him when they did. Brandau at seven brings a few things to the Whips. He can play above and below the goal, but Tierney also said, agreeing with Carc and Ryan Boyle during the broadcast, he offers an insurance policy. Two game weekends in Philly are grueling, and Michael Sowers hasn’t been able to stay healthy for full seasons. Brandau is a like for like for number of weapons on the Waterdogs offense.


Post draft, the Waterdogs add another young pole and a faceoff man in AJ Mercurio and Alec Stathakis, both of whom played for Tierney at Denver. Stathakis is now the only faceoff specialist on the roster for Waterdogs, so the job is his for now if the Waterdogs don’t run the prevent again this year. Tierney post draft said the Waterdogs defense is great, but getting older. His picks certainly have laid a foundation for the next generation of the defense. Waterdogs roster was already packed with SSDM and midfield talent, so it’s not surprise to see them only draft poles and attackmen.


UTAH ARCHERS


Draft Picks:

1(8) - Mason Woodward, D

2(13) - Beau Pederson, SSDM

2(16) - Dyson Williams, A

3(24) - Colby Barsz, D


Post Draft Adds:

Nick Cardile, D (from Player Pool)

Jack DiBenedetto, D

Tate Gallagher, SSDM (from Player Pool)

Jacob Morin, M

Erik Peters, G

Jack VanOverbeke, A

Justin Wietfeldt, FO


Best Addition: Mason Woodward


The defending champs are, as you might imagine, in a pretty good spot. Their needs are at pole, as they dealt Jared Conners while Matt McMahon retired. Graeme Hossack has also been moved to the Holdout List. The Hossack move may just have been to get the roster to 30 players, I am not yet reading a lot into it. Hossack doesn’t need training camp to be ready for an Archers season, a short term holdout stay while they evaluate the four poles they added makes sense to me.


Woodward is a prize in this draft. There was some surprise when he went at the end of round one, in my eyes, needlessly. Marquette played a healthy amount of zone this year, and it’s tough for individuals to shine in a zone sometimes, but there is plenty of tape from his career at Marquette to know he is different. Some pundits have him as an LSM, I think he immediately slots in down low for the Archers. There is also something to the fact that Woodward was a four time captain at Marquette.


Colby Barsz had a hell of a season for Towson, playing his way up draft boards and onto All American teams. The North Carolina native was the key piece to a Shawn Nadelen defense that played an aggressive and exciting brand of defense. It’s a pro style defense in a lot of ways. Beau Pederson is ideal SSDM depth for Archers as Latrell Harris is still out. Piper Bond and Connor Maher had great first years, Beau Pederson is another who the Archers poles will quickly learn can be left on an island. He’s a little Bond and a little Maher. Bond is better as a pure SSDM, while Maher is better going from defense to offense. Pederson, who came to Princeton as an offensive midfielder and started on that side of the ball as a freshman, can do both.



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