With the 2020 PLL College Draft in the books, the seven teams can now look forward to the PLL Championship Series. The PLL College Draft represented the last major player movement event of the PLL offseason, and all the leagues teams bulked up. Below is a recap of how each team did filled their needs in the PLL Draft.
|Overall Pick||Player||College||Position||PLL Team|
|1||Grant Ament||Penn State||Attack||Archers LC|
|2||Bryan Costabile||Notre Dame||Midfield||Atlas LC|
|3||Michael Kraus||Virginia||Attack||Waterdogs LC|
|4||Tom Rigney||Army||Defense||Chrome LC|
|5||Matt Gaudet||Yale||Attack||Chaos LC|
|6||Peyton Smith||Marist||Faceoff||Redwoods LC|
|7||Sean New||Holy Cross||LSM/Defense||Whipsnakes LC|
|8||Matt DeLuca||Delaware||Goalie||Waterdogs LC|
|9||Reece Eddy||Boston||LSM/Defense||Chrome LC|
|10||Aidan Hynes||Yale||Defense||Atlas LC|
|11||Jack Rapine||Johns Hopkins||Defense||Archers LC|
|12||Jeff Teat||Cornell||Midfield||Chaos LC|
|13||Chris Price||High Point||LSM/Defense||Redwoods LC|
|14||Matt Hubler||Johns Hopkins||Midfield||Whipsnakes LC|
Picks: Grant Ament, Jack Rapine
Grant Ament was the safest possible bet to be the first overall pick. Not only was he the best player in the draft, but his fit on the Archers is perfect. Ament’s experience running a two-man game and his passing ability make him a perfect fit on an offense that will feature a fully healthy Tom Schreiber, Marcus Holman and Will Manny. Ament is a huge upgrade to an offense that already looked solid heading into the draft.
In Jack Rapine, the Archers are getting a defender that ranks sixth all time in the storied history of Johns Hopkins defenders in caused turnovers. Rapine was an instant starter for Dave Pietramala at Hopkins in 2017, starting all 48 games since he arrived on campus. Rapine should see the field for the Archers in July.
Picks: Bryan Costabile, Aidan Hynes
Much like Ament to the Archers, Bryan Costabile is a glove-on-hand fit for Atlas. Costabile is the prototypical two-way midfielder. The Atlas love to play above the cage and dodge from up top, and Costabile’s game should fit into that type of offense seamlessly. His shooting range, play-making ability and ability to stay on defense will have him on the field a lot for the Atlas, especially in a format such as the condensed PLL Championship Series.
The Atlas added some depth on the defensive side with Aidan Hynes. Hynes is a solid defender that plays the kind of defense Atlas LC loves. Hynes was a turnover causing machine at Yale, finishing first on the team in turnovers twice, and gives the Atlas a steady defensive presence. Coach Ben Rubeor sees him as another quarterback on a defense headlined by Tucker Durkin and the recently acquired Craig Chick.
Picks: Michael Kraus, Matt DeLuca
The Waterdogs found themselves in a position to take the second best attackman in the draft. In Micahel Kraus, Waterdogs find themselves with a crafty attackman who can play a physical style of lacrosse that will translate well to the professional level. Kraus is comfortable playing when he is draped by defenders, and throughout his career has demonstrated both high level scoring and play-making ability.
The Waterdogs added Matt DeLuca with the first pick of the second round, and hope he can challenge for the starting role in net. At 6’6, DeLuca is an intimidating presence in net, and often forces shooters to miss just with his size. But DeLuca also has quick hands and explosive feet that should allow him to make any save needed of him at the pro level. The Waterdogs were able to make two picks to address two of their remaining needs.
Picks: Tom Rigney, Reece Eddy
Chrome LC doubled down on defense. It makes sense with an offense already featuring Jordan Wolf, Ned Crotty, and Justin Guterding. After adding Jesse Bernhardt to their roster via the entry draft, the Chrome added two young and talented defensemen to help bulk up a unit that needed help after last season.
Tom Rigney figures to be an instant starter for Chrome, while Reece Eddy will also receive a chance to start for Chrome and get some runs at LSM. Rigney was a captain at Army, a fact which coaches in both the MLL and PLL cited as reasons for selecting him. He figures to be a defensive stalwart that Chrome can build around moving forward.
Picks: Matt Gaudet, Jeff Teat
Chaos LC coach Andy Towers isn’t afraid to go big. That’s exactly what he did in the draft. The selection of Jeff Teat was the surprise of the night, as most assume Teat is returning to school. Towers said he had heard during the research process that Teat returning to school is no sure thing. Should Teat join Chaos, he will be the steal of the draft. Teat is a gifted offensive player that will help bring much needed depth to an offense that sputtered down the stretch of last season.
Matt Gaudet is another high ceiling attackman. Gaudet had 20 points in four games for Yale before the season was cut short. The name of the game this summer will be versatility and depth. Gaudet adds another option for Towers on offense as an off-ball finisher and allows Towers to move pieces around on offense in the name of load management. In all, Towers added two talented offensive players to an already crowded offense, but with the PLL Championship Series this summer, too much depth is never bad.
Picks: Peyton Smith, Chris Price
The theme of the 2020 draft was good fits and needs met. The Redwoods draft was no different. In Peyton Smith, the Redwoods address what was a gaping hole left by Greg Gurenlian’s retirement. Smith will provide competition for Greg Puskuldjian, whom the Redwoods selected in the PLL Entry Draft.
When Nat St. Laurent was making his pick in the second round, he specifically referred to Chris Price as an LSM. While Price is not necessarily a household name, he’s had several big games against big-time opponents and is reunited with his High Point goalie Tim Troutner. St. Laurent will likely lean on Price to be a contributor as they try to replace the hole left by Brian Karalunas.
Picks: Sean New, Matt Hubler
The defending champs roster had few if any holes. In both New and Hubler, Jim Stagnitta adds depth up the middle, which has been recognized as the primary need for any team to succeed in the PLL Championship Series format. Stagnitta’s picks give him flexibility as he looks to find the most efficient way of managing his players in the compressed season.
It’s uncertain whether Sean New or Matt Hubler make a significant impact for the Whipsnakes this season, but Stagnitta mentioned looking to alleviate his top LSM Michael Ehrhardt’s workload with New and sees Hubler as a viable replacement for Ty Warner if his medical school commitments prevent him from playing this summer or the next. Both players are talented defensive options and their selections show that Stagnitta is confident in his 2020 offensive weapons in Brad Smith and offseason additions Max Tuttle and Zed Williams.