Photo credits Penn State Athletics

Four Valuable Undrafted Rookie Signings for Chaos Lacrosse Club

By Daniel May

May 23, 2023

1. Alex Simmons, Attack, Syracuse/Denver

 Coming off of a 36 point, 21 goals and 15 assists, fifth-year season at Syracuse, Simmons fits the mold of what the Chaos are looking for on the offensive side of the ball.

He spent the first four years of his college career at Denver University where he totaled 129 points, 81 goals and 48 assists, in 50 games, while playing both attack and midfield for the Pios.

Although many might know him for his crafty goals while at Syracuse, like is one-handed behind the back goals against Virginia shown below, what Simmons brings to the team is a reliable Canadian finisher who can do it from both inside and range.

Simmons’ most realistic player comparison would b former member of Chaos and Denver alum, Wes Berg, who was a Canadian reliable finisher from range who could do it at both attack and midfield. Where some Canadians find their range limited to within 8 yards. Simmons can break out of that stereotype and will be a value add for the Chaos.

Having played for two of the greatest Canadians offensive minds to ever play and coach the game, Matt Brown while at Denver and Gary Gait at Syracuse, Simmons has been given the tools to carry his success over to the pro game.

With the addition of both Simmons and Tye Kurtz, the Chaos’ 17th overall selection in the draft, the Chaos might have found their two righty replacements at the midfield for Challen Rogers and Berg who both left in free agency. Time will tell how this duo does, but these newcomers might signal a changing of the guard for the next generation of great Canadian pros.

2. TJ Malone, Attack, Penn State

 TJ Malone, the 2023 Big10 Offensive Player of the Year, adds another layer to this Chaos offense as a feeder and two-handed initiator.

He finished the season leading the Big 10 in points with 60, 29 goals and 31 assists, and with Penn State playing Army in the quarterfinals Sunday, expect more to come.

Malone has great vision, dodges with a pass first mentality, but it also equally adept to getting to the net to score. He’s very comfortable dodging from the wings, which is something he’ll be asked to do a lot within the Chaos’ offense given their prevalence of wing dodging. He does a great job of keeping his head up and makes simple skip passes to the pipes and wings seem so effortless.

Having played at Penn State for the past five years, he’s used to playing in an offense that similar to Chaos, where they use many picks, two-man games, wings dodges, and blend the abilities of Canadians finishers and dodging, pass first Americans.

Although all of what I have just mentioned is great, what Malone’s greatest strength is the ability to anything within the offense. He can dodge, feed, shoot from the perimeter, and finish on the inside. A true chameleon who should be able to carve out a role for himself at training camp.

3. Evan Zinn, Midfield, Virginia/John’s Hopkins

Evan Zinn, the SSDM from the University of Virginia is built for the PLL. He thrives as a transition threat with 48 points, 28 goals and 20 assists, in his career at both UVA and Hopkins. With the shortened field dimension in the PLL, Zinn’s ability to convert in transition should translate well in the pro game.

I remember first watching Zinn during his freshman year at Hopkins, in 2019, during their infamous BIG10 championship run with Joey Epstein at the helm. He took wings, sprayed it on the run, and pretty much did it all at the midfield. His ability to be a swiss army knife is a valuable since it will give the coaching staff and himself lots of different ways to impact and get on the roster.

Much like Traynor, I don’t understand how he fell through the draft without being selected. Zinn is another steal for the Chaos staff who has seemingly cleaned up in bringing in new talent to the team through the draft and UFA rookie signings

The Chaos are deep at defensive midfield, but with the absence of Ian Mackay for the early part of the season, Zinn can step in and contribute from day one.

4. Demetri George, FO/M, Quinnipiac

Demetri George, a faceoff middie, adds depth to the position for the Chaos who are looking for answers going into the 2023 season. George, a two-time MAAC Face-off Specialist of the Year Award winner in 2021 and 2022, holds a career face-off win percentage of 56.3%. His best season came in 2021, where he won a whopping 74.2% of his faceoffs, winning 115.

This past season at Quinnipiac, as a fifth year, he posted a 54.8%-win percentage and added 4 points, 3 goals and 1 assist, in 14 games. Furthermore, he scooped up a career best 117 groundballs, finishing his career with 409 in his career. Look for George to challenge the existing guys on this roster for a spot and bring some youth to the position that could have some serious change come week one.

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