2020 Entry Draft Results

Entry Draft Rapid Reactions

By Joe Keegan | Mar 17, 2020

All seven teams improved via the entry draft. You can find the full results here. Let’s run through some rapid reactions.

  • Zach Currier – who Waterdogs LC head coach Andy Copelan called the best two-way midfielder in the world – joins an already versatile midfield group. Coach Copelan has plenty of options with Currier, Drew Snider, Danny Eipp, Ryan Conrad, and Kyle McClancy
  • Chrome LC had the most efficient six-on-six offense in the league. They didn’t need another attackman. Relax with the conspiracy cries.
  • We discuss offensive chemistry constantly; in reality, that chemistry is probably more important on the defensive end. Shared experience helped the Redwoods, Whipsnakes, and Archers defenses click. Jesse Bernhardt would have been a steal for any team, but his experience playing alongside Will Haus, Joel White, and John Galloway with Team USA in 2018 makes him even more valuable for Chrome.
  • The Waterdogs’ defense is starting to form an identity, too. Ryland Rees was All-World playing alongside Brodie Merrill for Team Canada in 2018. Currier played short-stick defense for that team. That bond with Brodie and Currier might have been the deciding factor between Rees and Chick.
  • Rob Pannell got his wish. He landed with the Atlas. That attack line – RP3, Eric Law, Ryan Brown – has great balance. Pannell has been at his best when flanked by two finishers. Typically, those two have been a righty and a lefty. Law and Brown are both righties, but they space the field in different ways. Law sneaks inside; Brown pops to the perimeter. Pannell’s tendency to push the lefty side (usually for a right-handed question mark) makes the match a bit easier, too.
  • Balancing Pannell’s and Paul Rabil’s touches will be head coach Ben Rubeor’s biggest challenge. The Atlas offense was at its best when it got the ball behind the cage. That didn’t always happen. Unless John Crawley deliberately carried behind for an invert, the ball stayed above the arc for a low angle alley dodge.
  • With Jackson Place recovering from a scary neck injury, the Archers had to add a quick cover defender. Eli Gobrecht might have the best feet of any defenseman in this draft. He has been asked to deny Jordan Wolf the ball in the past – and then matching feet when Wolf inevitably picks up an endline restart and explodes toward goal-line extended.
  • Christian Mazzone is an under-the-radar pick. Rutgers plays at a tempo that preps players for the pro game. He should help the Archers recover after being hit hard in the Expansion Draft.
  • The Whipsnakes lost Connor Kelly, Drew Snider, Ben Reeves, and Ryan Drenner in the Expansion Draft. Four offensive keys to their championship run. They need to rebuild that offense. Matt Rambo and Mike Chanenchuk are their south and north poles, respectively. Zed Williams can flank Rambo on attack or run out of the box. (He can take faceoff wings, too.) His game isn’t too similar to anything the Whipsnakes had in 2019. I’m interested to see how he gels.
  • TJ Comizio strengthens the league’s best short-stick defensive midfield. Head coach Jim Stagnitta didn’t need another lockdown short-stick. Now that he has one, there are plenty of options. Ty Warner and Comizio could take most of the defensive shifts while Bernhardt plays more of a two-way role.
  • Recent NCAA rulings have made the college draft a giant question mark. Who will take a fifth year? Who will play this summer? That uncertainty influenced the way some teams approached this draft. The Redwoods needed faceoff depth after Greg Gurenlian’s retirement. Bringing in Greg Puskuldjian, who played in two pro championships for head coach Nat St. Laurent before, accomplishes that without waiting to see which seniors are PLL bound.
  • Finn Sullivan and Craig Chick addressed areas of need for the Redwoods and Atlas, respectively. It’s easy to see whose minutes Sullivan takes; Matt Landis may be in-and-out of the lineup after joining the Navy SEALs. Chick and the rest of the Atlas’ defenders will have a battle in camp for a spot. Cade van Raaphorst did not impress off-ball as a rookie (after earning a reputation for his off-ball defense in college). Callum Robinson and Austin Pifani need to earn their time, too. The only guarantee down low for the Atlas is Tucker Durkin and his 792 lb. slap checks.
  • The biggest “surprise” of the first round: Chaos head coach Andy Towers took a goalie, even though he has the reigning Oren Lyons Goalie of the Year. The rationale: Coach Towers wanted to pick somebody who would make his 18-man roster every week. There’s no guarantee anybody else would crack this lineup.
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