The 2019 Premier Lacrosse League draft was held on Monday but was held until 2 a.m. when it was shown on tape-delay on NBC Sports Network. With four rounds and six teams the PLL draft only featured 24 picks so there really isn’t much room to error, no matter how stacked every roster is already.
Archers LC had the first overall pick and they went with the bonafide favourite and best player in the draft class, Loyola attackman Pat Spencer. While we did see some chalky picks there were also some surprises as well. One trend that we did see in this draft was a heavy emphasis on the midfield, defense and two-way players. With many teams having holes in those spots they certainly wanted filled them in the draft.
- Archers LC: Pat Spencer, A, Loyola
- Atlas LC: Ryan Conrad, M, Virginia
- Chrome LC: Zach Goodrich, DM, Towson
- Whipsnakes LC: Alex Woodall, FO, Towson
- Redwoods LC: Clarke Petterson, A, Cornell
- Chaos LC: Johnny Surdick, D, Army
- Chaos LC: Jack Rowlett, D, North Carolina
- Redwoods LC: Tyler Dunn, M, UPenn
- Whipsnakes LC: Brad Smith, M, Duke
- Chrome LC: Chris Sabia, D, Penn State
- Atlas LC: Cad Van Raaphorst, D, Duke
- Archers LC: Curtis Corley, D, Maryland
- Archers LC: Colton Jackson, M, Denver
- Atlas LC: Noah Richard, LSM, Marquette
- Chrome LC: Max Tuttle, M, Sacred Heart
- Whipsnakes LC: Isaac Paparo, LS, UMass
- Redwoods LC: Brendan Gleason, A/M, Notre Dame
- Chaos LC: Greyson Torain, M, Navy
- Chaos LC: Austin Henningsen, FO, Maryland
- Redwoods LC: Tim Troutner Jr.. G, High Point
- Whipsnakes LC: John Dannigellis, M, Yale
- Chrome LC: Connor Farrell, FO, LIU Post
- Atlas LC: Brent Noseworthy, M, Michigan
- Archers LC: John Prendergast, DM, Duke
Team By Team Recap
While Archers LC got the best overall player by taking Pat Spencer at number one, there is a catch. Spencer could take a fifth year and play basketball which would obviously not allow him to play lacrosse this summer. While that is a concern, Spencer is just too good a player to pass up. The Archers then had two more questionable picks in round two and three with Maryland defenseman Curtis Corley and Denver midfielder Colton Jackson. While both are good players and certainly talented, their names don’t jump out at you and neither has had what you would call a “standout” year. It’s hard to see how either will fit into this roster. With their fourth and final pick Coach Chris Bates and Archers LC went with Duke defensive midfielder John Pendergast. This is a good pick for them as it does address a need at defensive midfielder and while Pendergast may not make an immediate impact he can certainly play.
Head coach John Paul and Atlas LC added depth in the middle of the field right off the bat by taking Virginia midfielder Ryan Conrad second overall. Conrad is a versatile midfielder and can get it done at both ends and in transition. While he has battled injuries during his college career he can be a big contributor at the next level. Then they went with two long poles, picking up Duke defenseman Cade van Rapphorst and Marquette LSM Noah Richard in the second and third rounds. I really like both of these picks as they add a do it all defenseman with Van Rapphorst and a very good LSM with Richard, whose brother Jake is a SSDM for Atlas as well. Their last pick is not surprising at all as Atlas head coach John Paul recruited and coached Brent Noseworthy while he was the head coach at Michigan. If there is anyone that knows how to use the versatility and toughness of Noseworthy, it’s Atlas head coach John Paul.
To be honest, what head coach Andy Towers and Chaos LC did in the draft was very interesting. They went with Army defenseman Johnny Surdick with the last pick in the first round. Surdick could be the best defenseman in this class, but with his service commitments it’s tough to say what his longevity in the league will be. With their second-round pick they hit a home run with North Carolina defenseman Jack Rowlett. Surdick and Rowlett play similar styles as they are like pests all over opposing players. They then picked up Navy midfielder Greyson Torain in the third round and Maryland faceoff man Austin Henningsen in the fourth round. While getting Henningsen is a big plus to add depth at the faceoff position, I struggle to see how Torain fits into an offense with heavy Canadian flavour, and he also has service commitments as well.
When looking at each team’s picks, it appears that Chrome LC might have won the draft even if they didn’t always got for the best player available. In the first round, Chrome head coach Dom Starsia selected Towson defensive midfielder Zach Goodrich, who really helps them add depth and talent at that position. Moving into rounds two and three, Chrome selected Penn State defenseman Chris Sabia and Sacred Heart midfielder Max Tuttle. Sabia is a great on-ball defenseman who can cause a hard time for his opponents and Tuttle is a straight goal scorer who could also play some attack as well. Their most interesting pick was in the fourth round as they selected Connor Farrell, a faceoff man out of Long Island University (DII). Chrome needed to address issues at the faceoff dot and they did with that pick, even if he is a lesser known player.
The Redwoods and head coach Nat St. Laurent might have had the most head-scratching draft night as I can’t see a way that some of these players will fit into their offense, and yes they did go offense heavy. In the first round they picked up Cornell attackman Clarke Petterson, and while Petterson has the skill set to be successful in the pro game, I just don’t see how he will be used with the other stellar attackman already on the roster. They went with Penn midfielder Tyler Dunn in the second round and Notre Dame attackman/midfielder in the third round. Dunn adds depth to an already good midfield lineup but again, he is primarily a scoring midfielder and I question how he will fit into the lineup. With Gleason, the Redwoods get a guy that I think can fit in this roster with the firepower he brings. The Redwoods did take the only goalie in the fourth round with Tim Troutner Jr. out of High Point.
I really like who coach Stagnitta and the Whipsnakes went with in this draft. They addressed their faceoff need right away, selecting Towson’s Alex Woodall in the first round. They also might have gotten the steal of the draft with their second round pick of Duke midfielder Brad Smith. How Smith fell that far is beyond me, but the Whipsnakes took advantage and got themselves a guy that can contribute in multiple ways on the offensive end, despite being injured a bit at the beginning of the season. The Whipsnakes then got another steal with UMass LSM Isaac Paparo in the third round. In the fourth round they selected Yale midfielder John Dannigellis. Paparo is a hard-nosed LSM that can do a lot all over the field while Dannigellis is also a tough guy that can play both ways, but it looks like they will be using him as more of a defensive midfielder with all the offensive talent they already have.
The PLL will open its first season with three games at Gillette Stadium in Boston on June 1st and 2nd.