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The PLL Fan's Guide to Picking an NLL Team

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

There’s a common refrain from lacrosse fans that happens at the conclusion of PLL seasons. It is some version of a lament about just having fall ball until college starts up in the spring. I used to think the same way. Then I found the joyful rabbit hole that is the NLL. Truth be told, I am still very much learning the box game. I couldn’t begin to get into scheme, strategy, anything like that at a level other than novice. But I immediately loved the physicality, the precision, the skill, and the speed of a well executed goal.


If you’re a PLL fan, give the NLL a try. It’s really easy, since it’s all on ESPN+ and ESPN, a thing you already have from watching the PLL. As with anything, the best place to start is the beginning. For any new fan, the beginning is a question. What team is my team?


The NLL has teams geographically based, so if that’s how you pick teams, you can just pick the squad that’s closest to where you live. But why limit yourself that way? With the new format that the NLL adopted this year, everyone plays everyone, and the top eight teams make the playoffs. East/West are no more. Whoever your team is, odds are, they’ll be making a trip to your town at some point in the near future.


The next best way to decide, where does my favorite player play? What about my favorite players, or guys from my PLL team? I’m here to try and help you with that. NLL clubs all have some PLL flavor. You’ve seen it affect the PLL recently, as the Archers signed Challen Rogers last free agent period, uniting him with his Toronto Rock teammates. There are some NLL rosters that would be flat out playoff teams in the PLL, if not title contenders. I won’t try and tilt you towards anyone. What I will do is go through the NLL team by team, calling out the PLL players on the roster (active now or at one time recently), and give you some recent history. After that, the choice is all yours. For NLL holdout players or inactive roster guys, in many cases, don’t expect to see those guys in too many NLL games. Things are fluid with rosters, so it’s easier to just (try to) list everyone and if you find a team you like, check out who is active and who isn’t. Players are also being signed and moves are being made all the time leading up to the start of the year. Moves may have been made to shuffle this a bit. Regardless, if it helps you pick a squad, we’ve succeeded. Teams in alphabetical order.


ALBANY FIREWOLVES


2023 Result: 3-15, missed playoffs

2022 Result: 9-9, lost in conference semis

Last Championship: Never


PLL Players on the active and inactive roster:

Tye Kurtz, Chaos

Joe Nardella, Whipsnakes

John Piatelli, Redwoods

Jackson Reid, former Whipsnake

Alex Simmons, former Chaos

Jeff Trainor, Cannons

Ethan Walker, Waterdogs

Charlie Kitchen, Waterdogs

Kieran McArdle, Waterdogs

Ryan Conrad, Waterdogs (NLL Holdout List)

Zach Goodrich, Cannons (NLL Holdout List)

Michael Sowers, Waterdogs (NLL Holdout List)


A pretty good mix on the active roster. Jeff Trainor was a new signing from early September, adding some Cannons flavor to the group. But really, that’s a lot of wet dog. Zac Tucci also spent time on the Firewolves roster and is still listed with their inactives. Charlie Kitchen’s pro career was really beginning to take off when a labrum injury caused him to miss a lot of last indoor season and all of last outdoor season, but if he’s healthy, he can get back on track and be a goal scoring force. Joe Nardella was recently placed on the active roster after missing a full year recovering from a knee injury. Jeff Trainor, whose star has been on the rise in a serious way since joining the Cannons and dressing every week in the PLL, signed with the Firewolves this offseason, is an interesting indoor prospect. Most of those players on the holdout list are not players you should expect to see on the floor this year. But given how much it adds to the Waterdogs flavor, if you wear that purple and black on weekends in the summer, you might be a good match for Firewolves red in the winter. The Waterdogs have been a force the last two years in the PLL, making the title game in both seasons. It would be quite the surprise for Albany to make it to the Championship Series in the NLL this year. So if you pick this squad as a Waterdogs fan, maybe don’t get too pumped for a title run. Another PLL team fans who might like this squad are obviously the Whips fans, with Nardella and former roster regular Jackson Reid on the team. Kitchen and Kurtz are also a nice connection to Delaware for the Blue Hens fans.


BUFFALO BANDITS


2023 Result: 14-4, won NLL Championship

2022 Result: 14-4, lost in NLL Championship

Last Championship: 2023


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Tehoka Nanticoke, former Chaos

Chris Cloutier, Chaos

Ian Mackay, Chaos

Max Adler, Chaos

Josh Byrne, Chaos

Dalton Sulver, former Chaos

Dhane Smith, Chaos

Chase Fraser, Chaos

Justin Guterding, Atlas (NLL Protected Player List)

Alec Tullet, former Whipsnake (NLL Holdout)


This is a pretty easy one. Chaos fans, if you weren’t already Bandits fans, you were doing something wrong. That’s eight players on the Bandits who are, or recently were, members of the Chaos. Like the Chaos, the Bandits are a perennial contender. Unlike the Chaos (although this past year was an exception), the Bandits are regular season heavyweights too. In the NLL you have to be. As mentioned above, as of this season, the best eight regular season teams in the NLL make the playoffs now, east and west don’t matter. Seven teams miss the playoffs. It’s not like PLL where seven of eight make the postseason. The Bandits also have an ageless goalie, Matt Vinc. He’ll take the floor at 41 years old this year. He’s hardly slowed down, he was an MVP finalist last year at 40. He’s been Goaltender of the Year a record eight times, and he won all of those in a 13 year span. Bandits bring it every game, and their home games are, in my eyes, the gold standard for what a pro lacrosse experience should look like. Their fans are, as you’d expect in Buffalo, equal parts raucous, loyal, and supportive. It’s not uncommon for them to pack the Key Bank Center for big games, particularly down the stretch towards and into the playoffs. 19,000 fans screaming, waving flags, going nuts for Bandits is a site to behold for lacrosse. If that's the experience you want to have, this is your team.


CALGARY ROUGHNECKS


2023 Result: 13-5, lost in conference finals

2022 Result: 10-8, lost in conference semifinals

Last Championship: 2019


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Tanner Cook, former Chaos

Eli Salama, Chrome

Jesse King, Chrome

Josh Currier, former Cannons

Justin Inacio, Archers

Tyler Pace, Waterdogs

Zach Currier, Waterdogs


Calgary is always in the mix. They’re always good. They’ve missed the playoffs just two times in the last 21 seasons. The year they last won it all, 2019, they were 10-8, 3rd in the west, but stunned San Diego and then went through Colorado and Buffalo to win it all.They’re just a team you can never count out, but in a good way, not like in a Lakers or Yankees kind of way. Plenty of recognizable names on the Roughnecks for PLL fans, but no real push towards any one PLL team. Tyler Pace has been a holdout list guy for a long time, and probably isn’t going to be playing PLL any time soon, so Waterdog fans might not even really recognize the name. They certainly recognize the other Waterdog, Zach Currier, one of the best overall players in the world. A name that new fans will immediately know is Christian Del Bianco, the Roughnecks netminder. He was named the NLL MVP A year ago, just the second goalie ever to win it. If you want to pick a team without really having much of a parallel in the PLL, and also don’t want to pick a bad team, the Roughnecks are the spot. You can’t really be called a front runner, but you aren’t also really picking a team that will lose a lot of games. You’ll see guys play every game for them that play every game in the summer, you’ll see top level indoor only players, and the team will be in the mix come playoff time.


COLORADO MAMMOTH


2023 Result: 9-9, lost in NLL Championship

2022 Result: 10-8, won NLL Championship

Last Championship: 2022


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Tim Edwards, former Cannon

Warren Jeffrey, Archers

Connor Kelly, Waterdogs

Ryan Lee, Redwoods

Eli McLaughlin, former Redwood

Ty Thompson, former Chrome

Dillon Ward, Waterdogs

Zed Williams, Whipsnakes

Matt Dunn, Whipsnakes

Zach Geddes, Chaos (NLL Holdout List)

Jake Higgins, Waterdogs

Asher Nolting, Cannons (NLL Holdout List)

Logan Wisnauskas, Chrome (NLL Holdout List)


That’s a lot of PLL flavor. Some are former or currently unrostered PLL guys, some are inactive or practice players, but any way you slice it, that’s a lot of names you know. Top of the list of noticeable names here is of course Zed Williams, making the Mammoth an easy pick for Whips fans. Zed is, just like he outdoors, a force. He started his career in Georgia but joined Colorado in 2022 and helped the Mammoth to an NLL title. Last year, he had 71 points. The Mammoth brought in Connor Kelly his offseason, joining Waterdogs teammate Dillon Ward. Waterdogs fans, if you support the Mammoth you’ll get to know the #TradeWard meme well. Sad news recently, Ryan Lee will miss the upcoming season due to complications from knee surgery. Lee is one of the most tremendous goal scorers in lacrosse when he’s healthy, but he’s struggled to stay on the floor/field. Eli McLaughlin was a Redwoods signing who never took the field last summer; he played some summer box instead, but he’s absolutely a PLL caliber talent. The Mammoth have been in the finals the last two years, despite finishing 4th in the West a year ago and 3rd in the West the year they won it all. They were underdogs to San Diego and Buffalo two years ago and took home the title, shocked San Diego in the opening round and got through Calgary before losing to Buffalo in the finals last year. They play big in big spots. If you like particularly physical, scrappy, underdog mentality teams, the Mammoth are a good squad. Redwoods fans, despite not having many of their every weekend field players on the roster, could enjoy this team.


GEORGIA SWARM


2023 Result: 8-10, missed playoffs

2022 Result: 9-9, missed playoffs

Last Championship: 2017


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Brendan Bomberry, former Cannon

Matt Campbell, Cannons

Bryan Cole, former Whipsnake

Chet Comizio, Atlas

TJ Comizio, former Chaos

Brett Dobson, Archers

Jeff Henrick, former Chrome

Shayne Jackson former Cannon

Andrew Kew, former Cannon

Jordan Macintosh, former Chrome

Mike Manley, Chrome

John Ranagan, former Chrome

Nick Rowlett, Chaos

Jeremy Thompson, former Atlas

Miles Thompson, former Chaos

Lyle Thompson, Cannons

Piper Bond, Archers

Jeff Conner, Waterdogs (NLL Holdout)


Thompson brothers fans, look no further. Here’s your team. Lyle is, of course, Lyle. He won the MVP in 2017, was a finalist again in 2019, and he’s gone over 100 points in each of the last two seasons. Miles and Jeremy, both no longer really PLL players but really lacrosse legends in their own right, also play for the Swarm. Miles hasn’t taken the floor since 2022 due to injuries, but Jeremy led the team in loose balls a year ago. The Thompson brothers as a group don’t really have a particular PLL tie, they all played for different PLL clubs, but their play style as a family, and dare I say a brand, has a group of fans all its own. Outside of the Thompsons, there are serious PLL stars here. Brett Dobson, fresh off his PLL Championship Game MVP award, minds the net for Georgia. He was a rookie of the year finalist in the NLL, losing out to Jonathan Donville. A lot of exceptional shooters and scorers who never really stuck in the PLL are out there for Georgia, specifically guys like Shayne Jackson, Brendan Bomberry, and Andrew Kew. Bryan Cole is a beast of a player in the box game, but didn’t sign a new deal in the PLL when he hit free agency last year, playing summer box instead. Mike Manley, Jordan Macintosh, and John Ranagan, staples of the Chrome/Rattlers crossover group, still are out there doing damage. Georgia just drafted Chaos faceoff specialist Nick Rowlett as well. TJ Comizio has bounced through the PLL a bit and not been able to stick on a roster, but he’s an exceptional player, and watching him indoors will have you wanting to call up your favorite team’s PLL coach to sign him. The Swarm, for all that power, haven’t made the playoffs since 2019. They missed the cut the last two years, and the prior two seasons had no playoffs due to COVID. They won a title in 2017. They got off to a poor start last season and then may a big second half playoff push, but came up just short. If you really have no idea who to pick, but want to see some great plays and a lot of names you’ll recognize as a PLL fan, this is a good place to go.


HALIFAX THUNDERBIRDS


2023 Result: 10-8, lost in conference semifinals

2022 Result: 11-7, lost in conference semifinals

Last Championship: 2014 (As Rochester Knighthawks)


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Clarke Petterson, Redwoods

Randy Staats, former Chrome

Graeme Hossack, Archers

Jake Withers, Waterdogs

Cole Kirst, Redwoods

Ryan Terefenko, Chrome

Tyson Bell, former Cannon

Max Waldbaum, former Whipsnake


The Thunderbirds are the former Knighthawks, and the current Knighthawks are new Knighthawks. Don’t get too caught up in all that really. While there is plenty of PLL talent here, a fun connection for new fans might actually be the one to Ohio State. Jake Withers, Eric Fannell, Ryan Terefenko, Austin Shanks, and Johnny Pearson are all Buckeyes. Ohio State has added more and more Canadian and box flavor to their roster over the years with players like these plus names like Tre Leclaire and Justin Inacio, so no surprise to see so many end up together at the pro level. Outside of the Buckeyes, you’ve got some big names here. Randy Staats is one of the best offensive weapons in the sport, indoors or outdoors. He just happens to strictly play indoors now, going between NLL in the winters and Mann Cup competition in the summers (he just won a Mann Cup with Six Nations). Graeme Hossack is a perennial DPOY level player for the Archers in the PLL, and is every bit as good indoors. He was a DPOY finalist last year, losing to Archers teammate Latrell Harris. Hossack won the award three straight times from 2018-2020. Tyson Bell played with the Chaos and Cannons in the PLL, with a pole and as an SSDM, before making the move to competing for Mann Cup’s every summer (he also won a Mann this year with Six Nations). The list of PLL talent isn’t long for Halifax, but it’s a lot of big time names that will be on the floor all the time. Halifax is on the cusp of a breakthrough, getting bounced early in the playoffs the last two years but always feeling dangerous. There’s not specific PLL team that connects closely to Halifax, but if you are looking for a team with PLL players that are good, and then when you see them indoors you think wow these guys are REALLY good, the Thunderbirds are for you.


LAS VEGAS DESERT DOGS


2023 Result: 5-13, missed playoffs

2022 Result: Did not play.

Last Championship: Never


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Colin Kirst, Cannons

James Barclay, Whipsnakes

Jack Hannah, Waterdogs

Connor Kirst, Whipsnakes

Charlie Bertrand, Redwoods

Zach Cole, Redwoods


A brand new squad, with some young PLL stars to pull for. Two Kirst brothers are on this team. All the Kirst boys will be NLL and PLL players. Cole has a new two year deal with Halifax, Connor joins Vegas after playing with San Diego, and Colin is a new player with the Desert Dogs. All three, plus their brother CJ, were on the Team USA box squads that played at LAXNAI this summer, and some may make the final cut for the indoor World Championships next year. Outside of the Kirsts, who are spread across the PLL for now, is a bright young generation of lacrosse stars. Jack Hannah and Charlie Bertrand are both just getting their pro careers started, and both have been outstanding out of the gate. Zach Cole didn’t get run for the Redwoods last year as a rookie but was highly touted out of St Joseph’s. James Barclay has been through a few teams in the PLL but most recently is with the Whips. A young team with young stars and superstar celebrity ownership that includes Wayne Gretzky and Dustin Johnson, if you want to get in on the ground floor of a team building something with a squad of young exciting players, this is your team.


NEW YORK RIPTIDE


2023 Result: 5-13, missed playoffs

2022 Result: 6-12, missed playoffs

Last Championship: Never


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Peter Dearth, Atlas

JT Giles-Harris, Chrome

Chris Gray, Atlas

Petey LaSalla, Whipsnakes (NLL Holdout List)

Reilly O’Connor, former Atlas

Jeff Teat, Atlas

Max Wayne, Cannons


Full disclosure here, most of those guys are inactive or practice squad guys. Don’t expect to see Chris Gray take the floor this season. Jeff Teat on the other hand, well he’s worth a ticket on his own. A true pass first superstar, Teat was the league leader in points a year ago. He’s the cornerstone of a new franchise for the NLL, as the Riptide first season was in 2019. They have not yet made the playoffs, although they have had two different players win Rookie of the Year (Teat and Tyson Gibson). The recent NLL draft saw them grab a few players who will also be in the PLL, like Jake Stevens and Mason Woodward, and they also spent a late pick on Gavin Adler. The Riptide spent the offseason making a flurry of moves to improve their defense and bring some more weapons to their offense. Larson Sundown is a rising star in the NLL and coming off a Mann Cup win. With the flurry of moves and another season of Teat on the left side, the Riptide will have lofty aspirations this year. If you’re looking for a team that’s aiming high and trying to enter the contender realm while finally ditching the “expansion team so don’t expect much” tag, this is your team. A natural pick for Atlas fans who want to watch their best offensive weapon also be the best offensive weapon indoors.


PANTHER CITY LACROSSE CLUB


2023 Result: 10-8, lost in conference semifinals

2022 Result: 7-11, missed playoffs

Last Championship: Never


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Jonathan Donville, Cannons

Patrick Foley, former Waterdog

Elijah Gash, Whipsnakes

Matt Hossack, former Waterdog

Justin Joseph, former Redwood

Mike Sisselberger, Archers


The 2021-22 season was the first for PCLC, so this will be year three. Panther City, if you are unaware, is the Texas market, and the Panthers play their home games at Dickie’s Arena in Fort Worth. For new guys on the block, they are not off to a bad start. They made the playoffs in year two and were bounced by a good Calgary team. Donville is the reigning rookie of the year, a former number one overall draft pick and one of the best young players in all of lacrosse, indoors or outdoors. Patrick Foley hasn’t appeared in the PLL since playing for the Waterdogs in the bubble, but Hopkins fans will remember him as a stellar close defenseman at Hopkins. Elijah Gash is an interesting player to follow since his athletic measurables are off the charts. He missed a large chunk of the outdoor season with an ankle injury. PCLC will be looking to stack winning seasons and make it back to the playoffs. Vets like Callum Crawford, who’s been a top tier player for years, can help lead them there. One other player to watch is draft pick Ryan Sheridan, who comes out of Hofstra this season. He’s a player who could be on PLL radars as well when teams start building out their training camp rosters. If you are looking for a team that’s still got that new car smell, and is playing to prove they aren’t just the new kid anymore, this is a good team for you. Cannons fans can swap that blue Donville jersey for a black PCLC Donville jersey and feel right at home.


PHILADELPHIA WINGS


2023 Result: 9-9, missed playoffs

2022 Result: 9-9, lost in conference semifinals

Last Championship: 2001


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Liam Byrnes, Waterdogs

Bryan Costabile, Atlas

Isaiah Davis-Allen, Redwoods

Troy Hettinger, Chrome

Ben McIntosh, Waterdogs

Matt Rambo, Whipsnakes

Joe Resetarits, Chaos

Blaze Riorden, Chaos

Christian Scarpello, Waterdogs

Koby Smith, Atlas


Philly. There is no shortage of lacrosse, and even more specifically PLL, fans in the greater Philly area. There’s a reason PLL keeps going back there for championship games. If you’re in Philly, just go with the Wings. No reason to deviate from your Philly-ness now. You have a great home town Philly guy to cheer for in Matt Rambo. Rambo is the only Whip on the roster though, so it may be tough for Whipsnakes fans to just jump right in with the Philly crowd. There’s some Whips rivars on here, like IDA of the Woods. You get to enjoy having Blaze Riorden on your team as an offensive player, which is a true treat because he’s put in some SportsCenter worthy highlight goals indoors. The Wings acquired Liam Byrnes this offseason. Ben McIntosh played a year with the Waterdogs but is really a box first player at this point. The Philadelphia Wings are an original franchise for pro lacrosse. They were around in the Eagle Pro Box League, which was a precursor to what we know today as the NLL. That means the Wings have basically been around since the mid 70s. In 2014, the Wings were relocated and became the New England Black Wolves, but a few years later Philly got an expansion team and the Wings were back. The new wings haven’t had much postseason success, and have basically floated around the .500 mark the last three seasons. If you want a team with some serious history, looking to reclaim the past glory in front of a fanbase that supports all their teams with serious passion, the Wings are your team.


ROCHESTER KNIGHTHAWKS


2023 Result: 10-8, lost in conference semifinal

2022 Result: 4-14, missed playoffs

Last championship: 2014


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Connor Fields, Archers

Ryland Rees, Waterdogs

Joe Post, former Chrome

Dan Coates, former Chaos

Ryan Smith, Chaos

Connor Farrell, Chrome

Thomas McConvey, Waterdogs


The Knighthawks have had something of a roundabout journey. They played in the NLL from 1995-2019, when they became the Halifax Thunderbirds. As part of that, the Knighthawks intellectual property was sold to Terry and Kim Pegula (owners of the Buffalo Bills), who would keep a Knighthawks team in Rochester but as an expansion team. So the new franchise doesn’t have the records and all that from the first 25 years, all that went to Halifax, and this is a new Knighthawk team. Why do it this way? I won’t pretend to know. Either way, the Knighthawks! If you are a Buffalo fan but for some reason prefer to cheer for owners rather than players, this is your team! Outside of that, there is a small, but mighty, group of PLL players on the team. Connor Fields had an incredible outdoor season last year, his indoor season was even better. 112 points on 52 goals and 60 assists, putting up a ridiculous 6.5 points per game. Last year the Knighthawks were one of the most fun stories in the league, as you can tell when you look at those records. 4-14 in 2022 to a 10-8 season, nobody thought they’d be as good as they were. Fields was a major part of that, and GM Dan Carey won General Manager of the Year. Ryan Smith and Dan Coates are current and former Chaos pros respectively, Ryland Rees is also an excellent indoor transition player. If you go back to the MLL days, you’ll recognize Matt Gilray as a former Cannon as well. Connor Farrell hasn’t really had a big NLL impact yet, and has been with a few different teams. For a fun mix of the new and old, and the opportunity to do a whole lot of the “nobody believed in us” talking, this is your team. Chaos fans, if you don’t want to follow the crowd to the Bandits, go with the Knighthawks.


SAN DIEGO SEALS


2023 Result: 14-4, lost in conference semifinals

2022 Result: 10-8, lost in conference finals

Last championship: Never


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Trevor Baptiste, Atlas

Wes Berg, Redwoods

Eli Gobrecht, Waterdogs

Patrick Shoemay, former Archer

Tre Leclaire, Archers

Payton Rezanka, Atlas

Xander Dickson, Atlas

Kyle Jackson, Chaos

Curtis Dickson, Chaos

Ethan Rall, Cannons

Austin Staats, former Chaos

Danny Logan, Atlas


Mac O’Keefe also has played for the Seals, but his deal is up, and he isn’t on the roster now. San Diego holds his rights, and the rumor is a new deal is coming but it hasn’t yet, so for now in the interest of being thorough I’ll just mention here he’s another Seal to know about. San Diego, along with Buffalo, has the best, “they could win a PLL title” roster. As always, there are some caveats here in that Dickson is not seeing the floor for this squad and Rezanka hasn’t played since college due to a knee injury, but otherwise, you’ve got some serious horses in San Diego. They made a big offseason move to bring in Trevor Baptiste. He’s a monster facing off indoors, regularly posting 70-80% games and the occasional perfect outing. Wes Berg, Tre Leclaire, Curtis Dickson, Austin Staats, this offensive is packed with weapons known to PLL folks, and Baptiste will get them the ball over and over again. Dane Dobbie will suit up again for San Diego this year, a former MVP and incredible offensive weapon. There are also bright young stars like Jake Govett who American fans should get to know, and Chris Origlieri, a remarkable young talent in the net. The Seals first season was 2019, and they immediately became a contender. They finished 1st in the west in each of the last two seasons. Despite that, they have yet to reach the championship. They’ve been active in trying to get there. There’s a been a ton of turnover from the original group in 2019, but some heavyweights remain, including Austin Staats and Cam Holding. A PLL fan looking for a team to finally get over the hump in the postseason with a barrage of offensive weapons may want to jump on the Seals bandwagon early. So Archers fans, this might be your squad.

SASKATCHEWAN RUSH


2023 Result: 8-10, missed playoffs

2022 Result: 8-10, missed playoffs

Last Championship: 2018


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Mike Messenger, Chrome

Holden Garlent, former Cannon


OK, not a ton of PLL flavor for the Rush. Mike Messenger is a fan favorite for Chrome with his penchant for physical, two way play from the midfield. Holden Garlent logged a few seasons with the Cannons, but wasn’t rostered in the PLL a year ago. Really if you’re a PLL fan looking to go head first into the deep end of the NLL, this is where you should go. Because it’s a roster full of indoor first or indoor only players that you probably won’t know very well, but the team will battle. The Rush finished first in the west in each year from 2016-2020, winning two titles in that stretch. The last two years, they’ve been sub .500. The Rush underwent a rebrand this offseason, unveiling a very cool new logo. They also had a fan vote for their new mascot name, and included “Horney” as an option, which will almost certainly win because the internet is the internet. PLL fans looking for the full NLL experience, learning as much as they can about the indoor game by going headfirst into the unknown, should go with the Rush.


TORONTO ROCK


2023 Result: 13-5, lost in conference finals

2022 Result: 13-5, lost in conference finals

Last Championship: 2011


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Latrell Harris, Archers

TD Ierlan, Redwoods

Challen Rogers, Archers

Tom Schreiber, Archers

Brandon Slade, former Archer


Archers fans, this could also be your squad. Lots of Archer favorites on the Rock. On top of this crew, they have Nick Rose, a spectacular goalie who road tripped with Latrell Harris (fresh off knee surgery) to the PLL final to support their teammates. The Rock won four titles in five years from 1999 through 2003. They are now in something of a drought, and haven’t won it all since 2011. They’ve been great the last two years, but got bounced by the Bandits in the conference finals twice in a row. Schreiber is just as good indoors as he is outdoors, as is Latrell Harris. The Rock also added Mark Matthews this year, a name that is definitely familiar to the outdoor crowd. Matthews is an incredible scorer and wizard with the ball in his stick, he’ll put some highlights out there for sure. He was the league MVP in 2018. Toronto also has one of the league’s best goaltenders in Nick Rose. Plenty of players that are huge indoors but don’t really play outdoors, which makes for a fun introduction to the NLL. If you are an Archers fan looking for a fun contender trying to break through, that has some history but hasn’t won the title in a minute, this is a squad for you.


VANCOUVER WARRIORS


2023 Result: 4-14, missed playoffs

2022 Result: 6-12, missed playoffs

Last Championship: 2010 (As Washington Stealth)


PLL Players on Active and Inactive Roster:

Reid Bowering, Archers

Adam Charalambides, Cannons

Kevin Crowley, Chaos

Owen Grant, Redwoods

Tyrell Hamer-Jackson, former Archer


Finally, the Warriors. In their history they’ve been the Albany Attack, San Jose Stealth, Washington Stealth, Vancouver Stealth, and now their current iteration. They were the last place team a year ago. They’ve made the playoffs just once in the last 10 years (eight seasons with playoffs), going 44-113 in that time. They didn’t have a winning record once in that stretch, they made the playoffs after going 9-9 in 2017. This is very much a team in a rebuild, looking to mix a bevy of young talent with some quality veterans and see if the mix pays off. With their record, they’ve had plenty of high draft picks. Charalambides was picked 4th overall in 2021, Bowering 2nd overall in 2020, Owen Grant 3rd overall a year ago. In the latest draft, they took Payton Cormier, Brock Haley, and Brayden Laity all in the top 10 picks in the draft. Cormier and Haley will likely be PLL draft picks. If you are looking to get into the NLL but not be seen as a front runner, while also watching a roster full of young stars laying the foundation for a bright future, the Warriors are your squad.


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