(Photo Courtesy of Penn State Athletics)
On Wednesday night, the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) held its second annual collegiate draft, which was broadcast on NBCSN.
Due to the circumstances, the draft only featured two rounds and was a unique one for sure, as many top prospects have either chosen or could still choose to go back to school for an extra year.
Here is a look at how each team improved their roster during the 2020 PLL Draft.
- Round 1, Pick No. 1: Grant Ament, A, Penn State
- Round 2, Pick No. 11: Jack Rapine, D, Johns Hopkins
Archers LC held the first overall pick coming into the draft and it was no surprise that thy went with Penn State attackman Grant Ament. They have an immediate need to fill at that X attackman spot to go along with their superstars of Will Manny and Marcus Holman on the wings. Adding Ament, who is one of the best passers in college lacrosse history, upgraded this offense immensely and immediately.
Their second-round pick was surprising, as Jack Rapine left the Johns Hopkins team prior to the season and is currently in the NCAA Transfer Portal. So there is a chance he will come back to school (wherever that may be) for an extra year. But if he does come out and join Archers this summer, the best defense, statistically, just got deeper. And that will be very beneficial with the 2020 season being a tournament format that features 20 games in 16 days.
- Round 1, Pick No. 2: Bryan Costabile, M, Notre Dame
- Round 2, Pick No. 10: Aiden Hynes, D, Yale
Coming into this draft, the biggest area that Atlas LC needed to focus on was the middle of the field. And specifically, two-way talent in the middle of the field. Well, they get just that with Bryan Costabile. While Coatabile is primarily an outside shooting threat, he also has the potential to be a big impact on both ends of the filed at the pro level. He fits right into what this squad needed.
Aiden Hynes adds depth to a defense that is headlined by Kyle Hartzell, Tucker Durkin, Cade Van Raaphorst, and Callum Robinson. Hynes certainly adds some depth to that unit and could possibly get the chance to make a significant impact this summer, much like Van Raaphorst did as a rookie during the 2019 season.
- Round 1, Pick No. 5: Matt Gaudet, A, Yale
- Round 2, Pick No. 12: Jeff Teat, A, Cornell
Last season, Chaos LC has one of the best transition offenses in the league. But in the six-on-six, they struggled, primarily due to the lack of an elite off-ball finisher/shooter. That is exactly what they are getting in Matt Gaudet. The lefty Canadian out of Yale is a true inside finisher who can catch anything thrown at him, and he also has some mid-range lethality. Inserting him into this offense, which features numerous players with a box lacrosse background, like himself, is going to be fun to watch.
Chaos rolled the dice bigtime on Jeff Teat, as it is unclear if he will come back to school for an extra year or not. If he doesn’t and decides to join Chaos this summer, then their offense will be one of the best and deepest in the league.
- Round 1, Pick No. 4: Tom Rigney, D, Army
- Round 2, Pick No. 9: Reece Eddy, LSM, Boston U.
Many expected Chrome to go take an off-ball offensive threat in, at least, one of the two rounds to help provide some balance to an offense that is heavy on dodging threats. However, first-year head coach Tim Soudan kept on the same track as he has all offseason and added even more pieces to their defense, which was horrific in the six-on-six last season.
Rigney brings another element to the backline for this Chrome defense, which has also added Foster Huggins and James Barclay this offseason. With his presence, this defense should look much improved this summer. With Eddy, Chrome gets a jack of all trades. The LSM out of Boston U. has slick stick skills, a certain offensive prowess, and can be a serious threat in transition. Putting him alongside Joel White could create one of the best LSM tandems in the league.
- Round 1, Pick No, 6: Peyton Smith, FO, Marist
- Round 2, Pick No. No. 13: Chris Price, LSM, High Point
Redwoods LC has been, arguably, the most improved team through the course of the offseason. But the one area where they still needed to get deeper at was the faceoff dot. Head coach Nat St. Laurent took care of that in the first round by grabbing Peyton Smith out of Marist. Projecting success in the pro game at the faceoff position is extremely hard, but Smith has all the tools to potentially develop into the number one guy.
The other need that this squad had was at the LSM spot, which they also took care of. Chris Price might not be a household name, but he made a huge impact on the High Point defense in college and could make a splash as a rookie in the pro game. Also, Price and Redwoods goalie Tim Troutner were teammates in college. So, there is already some chemistry there.
- Round 1, Pick No. 7: Sean New, D, Holy Cross
- Round 2, Pick No. 14: Matt Hubler, M, Johns Hopkins
The defending champs were hit the hardest with losses this offseason due to the expansion draft, especially at the attack position. However, head coach Matt Stagnitta chose to focus on defense and midfield depth in this draft, getting Sean new and Matt Hubler.
New can come into a pretty crowded defense and make an impact in some way, shape, or form. He is a big and physical defender, which fits right into their system. Also, adding him can allow Bryce Young to shift up top and play as an LSM and make more of an impact in transition. Hubler adds more depth to their already deep midfield, which looks to be where most of their offensive production will come from again.
- Round 1, Pick No. 3: Michael Kraus, A, Virginia
- Round 2, Pick No. 8: Matt DeLuca, G, Delaware
Waterdogs LC loaded up on “positionless” players that can make an impact in a multitude of ways during the expansion draft. And head coach Andy Copelan only added to the trend with their first pick of Michael Kraus. The attackman out of Virginia is a swiss army knife when it comes to offense, as he can fit in literally anywhere on that end of the field and be productive. Getting him is a huge plus for this squad.
Matt DeLuca has been one of the best goalies in college lacrosse over the past few years. With Charlie Cipriano and Tate Boyce already on their roster, it will be pretty exciting to see who gets that starting nod and how they play that position with the depth they have. And considering that the 2020 season will be a tournament, we could possibly this squad go with a multi-goalie system.