On Monday, Chrome LC and Atlas LC engaged in a trade that sent midfielder Romar Dennis and a 3rd round pick (#17) in the 2020 College Draft to Atlas LC in exchange for a 3rd round pick (#20) in the College Draft.
Head coach Ben Rubeor and Atlas won this trade, obviously. Dennis can be an impact player right away and with how deep this year’s draft class is, moving up a few spots in the 3rd round can mean picking a more quality piece.
Atlas’ offense was attack-heavy last season and struggled to generate much from the midfield until later on in the year. However, Kieran McArdle, who led Atlas in assists (13) and scored 12 goals last season, is now a Waterdog and they have a void to fill.
Dennis may be a midfielder but he can certainly help fill that production void that they have with McArdle gone. And having that void at attack could help the entire midfield, not just Dennis.
Atlas’ midfield now features Dennis, along with Paul Rabil, Connor Buczek, and Joel Tinney. That is one dangerous group. Buczek is the main scoring threat at midfield, scoring 16 goals last season. Rabil had 23 points (11G/11A), while Tinney (6G/8A) was viewed, as some, as more of a two-way guy, but showed flashes of the playmaking ability we saw from him in college at Johns Hopkins.
Dennis fits into this offense now very well. While he wasn’t used a much as he should have been by Chrome last season, if you have followed lacrosse at all over the past 3-4 years you know how special of a talent Dennis is. He has been compared to Rabil and Redwoods midfielder Kyle Harrison ever since his college days at Loyola.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound midfielder can thrive in this Atlas offense. Dennis is known for his signature split dodge that he breaks down defenders with before blowing by them and stinging the back of the net off of a righty jump shot.
Romar Dennis gets in the mix ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/B4RIs6JE3g
— Chrome Lacrosse Club (@PLLChrome) August 17, 2019
His ability to dodge and shoot on the run is second-to-none, and that will certainly help Atlas initiate from the midfield more effectively. He can also use his dodging ability to draw a double and free up an attackman who he can then dump the ball off to for an inside finish.
And while the famous Romar Dennis split dodge and righty jumper will likely be utilized very well in this offense, his ability to catch-and-shoot, especially from range, may be even more dangerous in this offense.
— Premier Lacrosse League (@PremierLacrosse) June 16, 2019
That catch-and-shoot ability that Dennis posses will only be amplified by the reunion of the Eric Law-Romar Dennis duo.
The two have played before, and the duo worked both ways. Defenses have to respect Dennis whether he is running downhill at blistering speeds or receiving a pass up top. He can hurt you in multiple ways.
Dennis draws a double and Law is open down low. Law drives from behind the cage at X and draws a double and Dennis is open up top. The two compliment each other well and can be a pain for any defense when clicking on all cylinders.
Chris Cloutier and Dennis have also played together before. So, who’s not to say that we won’t eventually see a similar duo between those two, as well.
Outside of the seemingly perfect attack-midfield duo of Law and Dennis, defenses are also going to have a difficult time with this Atlas midfield as a whole. Who do they respect more as a downhill dodger: Rabil or Dennis? Slide to one and the other is likely open. Try to lock off both and you still have Buczek running circles around you.
The sheer balance between position groups and sides of the field that this offense can achieve is going to something of a spectacle and will give defenses nightmares.