(Photo Courtesy of Villanova Athletics)
The 2020 PLL Championship Series is just sixteen days away. And one of the biggest storylines heading into the 2020 season is the new players coming into the league this season, both rookies and guys picked up in the entry draft.
In the PLL Entry Draft back in the winter, 14 incoming players found homes on rosters ahead of the 2020 season. But just because a player was taken in the entry draft doesn’t mean that things will turn out like they had hoped or envisioned with the club that selected them.
The success of a newcomer coming into the PLL will vary and is very much a case-by-case basis. New players’ success depends on numerous different things, including the existing competition at their position, the system that the club runs, how they gel with their teammates, health, and more. For some guys, things will work out fine. But for others, they may find themselves trying to request a trade at the end of this season.
Here is a look at which PLL Entry Draftees could make the biggest impact during the 2020 PLL Championship Series.
TJ Comizio, SSDM, Whipsnakes LC
Comizio’s game was made for the PLL rules.
The Villanova product is known for being a caused turnover machine, a transition junkie, and being able to get those gritty ground balls. But he can do much more than that. Comizio is a great one-on-one defender, can run the field as well as anyone in the game, and can also be an offensive threat. Those factors will likely translate very well to the PLL game, which features a shorter field and shot clock.
— Villanova Men’s Lax (@NovaLacrosse) February 24, 2019
On Whipsnakes, he will be paired up with Ty Warner, which could prove to be the best and most dangerous defensive midfield unit in the league. And not to mention, Jake Bernhardt can play both ways and LSM Michael Ehrhardt is also a transition threat. Adding Comizio to this group will pay dividends for Whipsnakes this season, and improve their already impressive transition play.
Ryland Rees, LSM, Waterdogs LC
Ryland Rees was the starting LSM for Team Canada at the 2018 World Championships in Netanya, Israel. The starting LSM before him was Brodie Merrill, who is now his Waterdogs teammate.
A Stony Brook grad, Rees was the 2019 America East Conference Defensive Player of The Year. He has shown how versatile of a player he can be at this level. Rees can play close and at LSM, and he’s not just a defensive-minded player either. The Canadian, who has a box background, has some offensive flair, impressive stick handling skills, and even took some faceoffs in college. He is the definition of a versatile LSM.
— America East Digital (@AEDigitalNet) May 3, 2019
His versatility should fit right in with this Waterdogs squad, which can be defined as one of the most positionless teams in the league. And being under the tutelage of a veteran like Merrill should only see Rees’ game get better this summer.
Zach Currier, M, Waterdogs LC
Looking for an old school true do it all midfield? Zach Currier is your guy. He has been doing it all since his college days at Princeton, and has shown he can do it all on every stage imaginable.
With the PLL rules and the smaller field, Currier should be foaming at the mouth every time he steps on the field. The Peterborough, Ont. native was made for the PLL style game. He is an elite offensive threat, tenacious on-ball defender, ground ball vacuum, and a threat any time he is spotted in transition.
Zach Currier from a tough angle pic.twitter.com/eIbDGgVenF
— Princeton Lacrosse (@TigerLacrosse) February 18, 2017
Similarly to his Team Canada teammate and new Waterdogs teammate Rees, his versatility should fit right in with this squad. And honestly, Currier could become the face of this new club as soon as the final whistle in their first contest. He can take over the offense, which looks like it will fit his game perfectly, and command respect on the defensive end.