While Atlas fans desperately await the arrival of their number one overall pick in the PLL College Draft in Jeff Teat, New York Riptide fans had the pleasure of seeing their number one overall pick, Teat, officially sign his contract this week. After being drafted in the NLL Entry Draft in September of 2020, Teat formally announced he was ready to start his professional career, signing a two-year deal with the New York franchise.
Teat took part in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, alongside Executive Vice President Rich Lisk, Head Coach Dan Ladouceur, General Manager Jim Veltman, where he expressed his feelings about joining the Riptide.
“[I’m] definitely extremely excited. This team, through the players and the management, is extremely motivated and you can see that from the other guys on this [conference call] screen, and also the other team members.” Teat said. “And, I’ve been fortunate to play with some of the team members…and I also watch a lot of lacrosse, so I know how a lot of the guys play and/or I played against them in the past.”
Teat was unanimously heralded as the top prospect in the 2020 NLL Entry Draft and, according to Lisk, trading the top pick was never an option.
“I will tell you a lot of teams in the league called us for that pick. A lot of teams in the league called us about things, and there was a 0% chance we were ever going to trade that pick and not have Jeff Teat be in a Riptide uniform,” Lisk explained.
“Jeff is just a natural fit to be a huge building block for this organization to create winning culture, to create a winning product on the field,” Ladouceur added.
Teat joins a revamped Riptide roster that includes off-season additions like the four-time All-Pro veteran Callum Crawford, depth at the goalie position in Steve Orleman, his future Atlas teammate Brent Adams and two athletic defenseman in Leo Stouros and Mack Mitchell. Additionally, Veltman re-signed some key contributors such as Tyson Gibson, someone who has plenty of history with Teat going back to their youth.
“Obviously, we played four years in Brampton and I thought we had some pretty good success there. And to be honest, the first time we played together, the first year we instantly had chemistry,” Teat explained. “So, he’s so much fun to play with. Our styles go hand in hand together. And now we’re looking to continue that build and continue to find success.”
The Riptide, based in Long Island, are surrounded by a hotbed of lacrosse communities, which Teat says is something that he wants to contribute to as well by helping to coach at clinics in the area. The Cornell grad says he will continue wearing #51 for his new team, just as his father and current Panther City Lacrosse Club assistant, Dan Teat, did during his 15-year NLL career where he played in 211 games, amassing 630 points.
Teat spent his childhood playing on the floor during intermission at his father’s games, and playing box lacrosse his whole life. Now he’s the number one pick and the most highly anticipated prospect in years — let’s see if he can follow his father’s footsteps once more, and begin a storied career of his own.
Let us know your excitement in seeing Jeff Teat suit up again in the comments or on social media.
Feature photo courtesy of Cornell Athletics / Design by Hutton Jackson