Grant’s Towering Defense will take Root with the Redwoods
Delaware defenseman Owen Grant will be heading to the Redwoods after GM and coach Nat St. Laurent selected him second in the 2023 PLL collegiate draft.
Grant will lead the Blue Hens against Marist in an NCAA tournament play-in matchup tomorrow, so he might have some tunnel vision right now. But once he joins the Redwoods locker room, he’ll fill an immediate need at LSM.
With the departure of Kyle Hartzell in Free agency, LSM had to be addressed Tuesday night. Grant’s from Newmarket, Ontario, and played high school lacrosse at Everest Academy. Since his time at Everest, he’s grown as a player and person.
Standing at 6-foot-3 230lb, there’s a reason Paul Carcaterra said: “You feel it the next day when he checks you.”
So far this season, Grant's been a force on the defensive end with 34 caused turnovers (8th in the nation), which plants him second in Delaware's history in that department. The only person above him is himself when he caused 35 turnovers last season. He's also the Blue Hens career leader in CTs, with 123 in counting.
But Grant's value isn't rooted only in what he can do on the defensive end, as he's a threat in transition, too, scoring seven goals so far this year. And at the pro level, his prowess as a trail threat can become even scarier for opposing defenses because now he can drain two-pointers for distance, which the Redwoods already do well, popping nine two-pointers last year, good for second in the league.
Combine that with the fact that he scooped up 48 ground balls this season (169 GBs over his career), and it’s evident that he’s going to be a huge help getting the ball up the field on clears, and he’ll be adding support for TD Ierlan, who had the fourth highest faceoff win percentage last year (53.6%).
“We’re trying to play faster, and he’s phenomenal at the top, and he’s one of the best I’ve ever seen get the ball off the ground,” St. Laurent said immediately after the pick.
St. Laurent mentioned that Grant will join John Sexton at LSM. But he also has the versatility to play close defense where he can pair with a stout defensive unit that includes all-stars Garrett Epple and Eddy Glazener and last year’s first-round pick Arden Cohen.
With Grant’s versatility, defensive prowess, and offensive skill, the Redwoods filled their primary defensive need while also adding tertiary scoring. What more could you want?