New York Atlas attackman Connor Shellenberger

Atlas’ Connor Shellenberger ties record for most points by rookie in pro debut

By Lauren Merola | Jun 4, 2024

In this summer’s running of the Bulls, Connor Shellenberger looks poised to lead the charge.

The No. 2 overall selection in the 2024 College Draft exploded with eight points (3G, 5A) in his first professional showing, a 19-12 victory over the Boston Cannons on Saturday. Shellenberger’s point total tied Chris Cloutier (2018) and Joey Sankey (2015) for the most ever by a rookie in his pro debut. 

He also had the second-most assists ever in a rookie debut, slotting in behind Liam Banks (6A, 2004).

Shellenberger fit in effortlessly alongside former Virginia teammate Xander Dickson and three-time PLL All-Star Jeff Teat down low.

Teat had 11 points (4G, 7A) against the Cannons, the highest single-game total by any player since 2019. He had a hat trick by the end of the first quarter, and much of his production was facilitated by and with Shellenberger, who assisted on two of Teat’s first three goals. 

With preexisting chemistry in place, Dickson assisted Shellenberger’s first pro goal.

“It’s been awesome to have the UVA guys, for sure…” Shellenberger said postgame. “It’s also just great to see them again and play with them again. You think once we graduate, it’s over, but to have this opportunity to play with them again, it’s pretty cool.”

The Cavalier connection was in part why Shellenberger wanted to suit up in Atlas blue this season.

“I really hoped that I would drop to the Atlas, to be honest,” Shellenberger said of his draft standing. “Obviously Xander was a big component of that, Coach [Mike] Pressler as well. Coach [Kevin] Cassese at UVA is super close with Coach Pressler, so I got to learn a lot about him, and from what he was telling me, everything seemed like a great fit here.

“Obviously there’s a competitive side of you that wants to go No. 1 to fulfill your ego, but in the back of my mind, I knew going No. 2 to the Atlas was probably a better fit for me and was going to be a lot more fun.”

Shellenberger was ruled out Sunday versus the Maryland Whipsnakes with a groin injury. In a total, though tired, team effort, New York ousted Maryland 17-13 to complete its Homecoming sweep and tie its win total from 2023.

The Atlas are first in the Eastern Conference and league after their doubleheader sweep in Week 1. Shellenberger’s status for New York's game against the Carolina Chaos in Week 2 is not yet known.