Somewhere in the Twitterverse, Team #TradeWard is smiling after news broke Friday evening that Chaos LC had dealt goalie Dillon Ward to the Waterdogs. To acquire Ward, Coach Andy Copelan shipped attackman/midfielder Wes Berg and the Waterdogs’ 2022 1st round pick to the Chaos.
There was much speculation in the offseason to what Coach Copelan and the Waterdogs would do at the goalie position in the offseason. Despite strong play by rookie Matt DeLuca in limited minutes during bubble play, many felt that a Ward-Waterdogs marriage would be the best fit for the 2014 World Games MVP.
Ward will join a revamped Waterdogs defense that saw multiple additions this offseason. Coach Copelan added defenders Liam Byrnes and Ben Randall during the PLL Entry Draft and LSM Eli Gobrecht in a PLL College Draft night trade with the Archers.
Coach Andy Towers, understandably, received a nice haul for one of the best goalies in the world. Ward was a luxury for Coach Towers last season, with reigning two-time PLL Goalie of the Year Blaze Riorden already between the pipes.
The addition of Wes Berg adds yet another offensive weapon to a Chaos team that found a groove at the latter stages of the bubble. The Coquitlam native will now join his fourth PLL team after stops with the Chrome and Redwoods in 2019 and Waterdogs in 2020.
Andy Towers adds more Canadians to Chaos LC
Coach Andy Tower’s also added another offensive threat earlier in the day, trading for attackman Chris Cloutier. The Chaos acquired the former All-American at UNC and 2018 MLL Rookie of the Year from Atlas LC in exchange for a third round pick in the 2022 College Draft. Cloutier joins the Chaos after finishing his time in the PLL Bubble last summer with seven points on seven goals.
With the trade, Coach Towers continues his accumulation of talent from north of the border. Cloutier joins Buffalo Bandits teammates Josh Byrne, Chase Fraser, Dhane Smith and Ian McKay on the Chaos roster heading into training camp.
Speaking of trends, Coach Ben Rubeor seems to like draft picks as much as Coach Towers enjoys having Canadians on his roster. With the trade, Coach Rubeor continued to stockpile his draft arsenal. The Atlas now have seven picks heading into the 2022 College Draft.
Final moves before PLL trade and waiver deadline
Friday not only marked the deadline for trades prior to the start of the 2021 PLL season, it was also the last day that teams could pick players off the waiver wire. Several teams made moves prior to training camp:
- Archers LC added another faceoff option in Noah Rak, who should be a suitable replacement for the loss of Brendan Fowler in the PLL Expansion Draft.
- Atlas LC added former Hobart College/Chesapeake Bayhawks goalie Sam Lucchesi to compete with JD Colarusso for the Bulls’ backup goaltender spot.
- Chaos LC filled their own need at backup goalie by picking up former New York Lizards starting netminder Austin Kaut.
- Chrome LC added some depth at defensive midfield by picking up short-stick defensive midfielder Jeremy Thompson and LSM CJ Costabile, both who can also relieve Connor Farrell at faceoff if needed.
- Waterdogs LC added Brian Karalunas to their roster once again after dropping the veteran LSM to the player pool when he was unable to attend the 2020 PLL Championship Series in Utah.
- Whipsnakes LC added depth at multiple positions, adding former Denver University/Chrome LC goalie Alex Ready to compete with Reed Junkin, former Ohio State/Denver Outlaws midfielder Jack Jasinski and former Penn/Chrome LC attackman Simon Mathias.
Despite some last-second waiver wire pickups, there are a handful of players in the PLL player pool still waiting for the call up. A few of the notable names include 2018 NLL MVP Mark Matthews, 2016 Tewaaraton winner Dylan Molloy and 2015 MLL champion Tommy Palasek, but it seems any potential chance for them will have to wait until the PLL season is already underway.
To hear more about the biggest trade of the weekend directly from the source, be sure to tune in to the upcoming episode of Pro Lacrosse Talk featuring all-world goalie and the newest member of Waterdogs LC, Dillon Ward! Then let us know your thoughts on these major PLL trades in the comments or on social media.