10 Man Ride: Fields to Archers, RP3 to Redwoods & More Trade Analysis
CLEAR! The ride is on. We have four (4!) blockbuster trades to recap, plus 14-man rosters were submitted on Sunday.
Let’s look at the deals and what each team’s protected roster tells us about their identity entering 2021.
1. Connor Fields-for-Ian MacKay
Chaos LC receives:
- Ian MacKay
Archers LC receives:
- Connor Fields
It’s a straight up swap – and both players can benefit from a change of scenery.
MacKay will fill Kevin Buchanan’s role on the “Canadian midfield line.” He’s a stretch shooter who can bruise defenders as a picker for Josh Byrne or pop to the arc. Those trips sets gave defenses fits in the 2020 postseason; expect to see more of them in 2021.
Fields gives the Archers another versatile offensive weapon. He can win on an island if teams try to shut off Marcus Holman and Will Manny again.
His off-ball game – which we saw more of at UAlbany than with Chaos LC – intrigues head coach Chris Bates most.
“Picture Will Manny and Connor playing together. Picture Tom and Connor playing together. These are all guys who are comfortable in two-man or comfortable in a 1-4, and they can come at you with some different angles,” said Archers LC head coach Chris Bates. “It’s exciting. I’m like a kid in a candy shop.”
2. Rob Pannell to Redwoods LC
Redwoods LC receives:
- Rob Pannell
Atlas LC receives:
- 3rd overall pick in 2021 Entry Draft
- Redwoods’ second round pick in the 2022 College Draft
Redwoods head coach Nat St. Laurent has been searching for a quarterback at X. Only 34.5% of the Redwoods’ settled shots were assisted last year; Pannell’s vision and ability to jam lever passes into tight quarters will change that.
Pannell is at his best as a passer when he pushes above GLE. Teammates buried 4-for-9 (44.4%) when Pannell passed from above GLE – and only 5-for-22 (22.7%) when he fed from behind the cage.
Adding Pannell prior to protected roster deadline forced St. Laurent into one extra difficult decision. The Redwoods’ 14-man roster might lost some of its depth and two-way speed. If it means improving their six-on-six offense, it’ll be worth it.
3. Paul Rabil to Cannons LC
Cannons LC receives:
- Paul Rabil
- 6th overall pick in 2021 Entry Draft
Atlas LC receives:
- 9th overall pick in 2021 Entry Draft
- 8th overall pick in 2021 College Draft
- Cannons’ first round pick in 2022 College Draft
The Cannons have a very specific role in mind for Rabil – both in the locker room as a leader and on the field. They’d like to set him up for more stepdown shots and interior finishes. Only 28.9% of Rabil’s shots were assisted with Atlas from 2019-20, a steep decline from 46.7% during his four years with the Lizards.
As a dodger, Rabil still demands double teams. His range on the run with either hand makes it impossible for that on-ball defender to push him to a low percentage area. Since 2015, Rabil has 37 second assists – by far the most in pro lacrosse. He even has a handful of third or fourth assists that go beyond our advanced stats.
Creating more cutting opportunities off-ball will help Rabil. He doesn’t need to initiate every offensive set; but when he gets the right matchup, expect more of those San Antonio Spurs-esque sequences to follow.
4. Ryan Brown to Waterdogs LC
Waterdogs LC receives:
- Ryan Brown
Atlas LC receives:
- 11th overall pick in 2021 College Draft
This draft class is loaded. That specific pick – 11th overall – felt just outside where the Waterdogs needed to be to improve this offense. Shooters like Mac O’Keefe, Jake Carraway, and Connor Kirst will probably be gone. Copelan was looking at the Ryan Terefenko, Peter Dearth, Danny Logan tier – versatile midfielders who will be major contributors to other teams, but would have been redundant with Zach Currier and Ryan Conrad’s skill sets.
Ryan Brown gives the Waterdogs a pure shooter. Inside or outside. Lefty or righty. Any release point – you name it.
The Waterdogs couldn’t convert their assisted looks last summer. They shot 22.3% off the catch as a team; Brown is a career 29.5% catch-and-shoot assassin. Hedge from him, and he’ll pop to a shooting spot, side-stepping as aggressive closeouts scurry past him.
5. Atlas’s 2021 College Picks: 1st, 8th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 26th
If you lost track as the Pannell, Rabil, and Brown trades came flooding in, here’s where Atlas selects in the 2021 College Draft:
1st, 8th, 10th, 11th, 17th, and 26th overall
They also now own two first round picks (their own plus Cannons LC’s) and two second round picks (their own plus Redwoods LC’s) in the 2022 College Draft.
Each of those six picks in April can make an immediate impact.
Could those top three picks really haul Michael Sowers (Princeton/Duke), JT Giles-Harris (Duke) and Ryan Tierney (Hofstra)?! Maybe Dox Aitken (Virginia) and/or Koby Smith (Towson) later? Atlas fans have five weeks of daydreaming ahead of them.
Atlas’s 14-man roster (down to 13 minus Brown) has some young, two-way talent. Veterans like Connor Buczek and Kevin Unterstein found themselves unprotected. Expect this team to get faster between the arcs through these next two drafts.
6. Chaos keeps two goalies
Head coach Andy Towers did it. He kept Blaze Riorden and Dillon Ward – arguably the two best goalies in the world.
Chaos was the only team to protect two goalies, and one of two teams (along with Redwoods) not to protect a faceoff man.
For reference, here’s how many players by position each team protected (or was military exempted):
- Attack: 3.1
- Midfield: 3.9
- FO: 0.7
- SSDM: 1.6
- LSM: 1.0
- Defense 2.6
- Goalie: 1.1
7. Chrome keeps its core
John Galloway, Mike Manley, Joel White, Jordan MacIntosh, John Ranagan, and Jordan Wolf have been to – and lost – three championship games together since 2014. This group has unfinished business together.
Keeping this core was never a question for head coach Tim Soudan and his staff. It was only tough because of how impressive the talent they brought in for 2020 was. Reece Eddy (THE PRIDE AH COMM AVE!), Jake Pulver, Matt Gaudet, James Barclay, Brendan Kavanagh, and Donny Moss all debuted for Chrome in Utah; now, they’re available for the Cannons to snatch.
8. Kings Stay Kings
The Whipsnakes had the easiest 14-man roster decisions. Half their unprotected players don’t even own a Whipsnakes pinnie yet.
After Jeremy Sieverts, Tyler Warner, Brett Schmidt, and Joe LoCascio retired, there weren’t too many tough calls for head coach Jim Stagnitta and the reigning champs.
9. Waterdogs: Toughest Roster?
This 14-man roster was tough for two reasons: (1) the Waterdogs have only played five games together and (2) so many of these players are in the same talent tier.
These 14 players – plus Ryan Brown, the fourth overall pick in the Entry Draft, and the second overall pick in the College Draft – can compete this summer.
10. Archers only protect three poles
Head coach Chris Bates is sitting on the second overall pick in the Entry Draft. That pool grows by the day. If he loses Curtis Corley to the Cannons, then he’ll have a chance to add the top defender from the MLL.
We’ll dive deeper into the film on the incoming Entry Draft talent after the Expansion Draft. For now, bookmark our Draft Central page to keep tabs on the available players.
Thanks for reading!
Spread the word, submit any questions you want to see answered in this space to me on Twitter (@joekeegs), and I’ll talk to you next week!