The first trade to hit during the 2021 Premier Lacrosse League offseason is here and it’s a big one. On Thursday, The Post Game Podcast reported that Atlas LC was sending Rob Pannell to Redwoods LC in return for draft picks. Hours later, the PLL made the news official and announced that the Atlas would receive the Redwoods’ third pick in the 2021 PLL Entry Draft and a second round pick in the 2022 draft.
The trade makes sense for both teams. The Redwoods effectively put the rest of the league on notice that they are in win-now mode. Likewise, Ben Rubeor and the Atlas freed themselves up to add more impact players in the 2021 PLL Entry Draft and potentially the most dynamic attackman in pro lacrosse since RP3 in Duke’s Michael Sowers via the 2021 PLL College Draft. It is also now the third blockbuster deal that Redwoods coach Nat St. Laurent has pulled off during his tenure with his acquisition of Jules Heningburg during the 2019 season and trade for Myles Jones last offseason being the two former moves.
Many expected the Redwoods to be a prime landing spot for Chaos attackman Connor Fields after the Redwoods struggled for consistency on offense last season, due in part to Jules Heningburg’s absence and no clear QB on offense. Acquiring Pannell gives them a clear X attackman and alleviates some pressure from lefty Matt Kavanagh, as well as Ryder Garnsey and Jules Heningburg—two versatile attackman who the Woods can run out of the box if needed.
The move also sets up the “Splash Brothers” Myles Jones and Sergio Perkovic for more success in 2021. In 2020, the Redwoods led the league in two-point goals with 10. The next closest team (the Waterdogs) had only five. By adding Rob Pannell’s feeding abilities, Jones and Perkovic are poised for another big season from long range.
As for the Atlas, they give themselves more options by adding another pick in this year’s PLL Entry Draft, which is loaded with former MLL talent, and add a pick in the 2022 PLL College Draft. They also make their intentions with the first overall pick in the 2021 draft seemingly clear and all but guarantees that we’ll see college phenom Michael Sowers suit up for the Bulls this summer.
What are your thoughts on the blockbuster deal? Let us know in the comments or on social media.