Utah Archers

PLL rosters finalized: Top takeaways from each 25-man squad

By PLL | May 29, 2024

After carrying 30 players apiece into training camp in Albany, the PLL’s eight teams trimmed its rosters to 25 on Wednesday. 

Each team can only dress 19 of those players on game day, so more roster decisions are still to come. But as the focus now shifts to this weekend’s season openers, our beat writers shared their top takeaways from each club’s finalized 25-man squad.

Boston Cannons: Cannons will test out the traditional faceoff approach 

The biggest question mark for the Cannons headed into training camp was the faceoff. They signed free agent Zac Tucci and did not pick up any other faceoff specialists in the draft. 

Brian Holman’s plan all along was to test out both Tucci at the stripe and some of his short-stick defensive midfielders to utilize the prevent strategy they used last season with Ethan Rall. It wasn’t a sure thing that Tucci would make the team -- until now. 

I still expect to see the likes of Zach Goodrich, Bubba Fairman or Jeff Trainor take some faceoffs this weekend and in upcoming games, but at least to start the season, the Cannons will carry a traditional faceoff specialist on their roster.

Other than that, the only other notable roster move for the Cannons was defenseman Jack Kielty to the PUP List. Kielty was Boston’s captain and top defenseman last year, but the additions of Garrett Epple and Bryce Young make his absence far more manageable for the Cannons’ defense. 

– Sarah Griffin

California Redwoods: The new defensive unit is mostly set

The Redwoods' biggest battles in training camp came on the defensive side of the ball, and when the dust settled, Nat St. Laurent and his coaching staff opted for versatility, youth and aggressiveness. 

Ryan Kennedy is now listed as a close defender after spending most of his career as an LSM. Chris Conlin made the roster for his role on Notre Dame’s back-to-back championship squad, which only let up 9.2 goals a game this past season. Chris Fake, who was the first defensive acquisition of the offseason, will likely pair with Arden Cohen after a disruptive training camp and his collegiate history of locking down the 2024 No. 1 pick Brennan O’Neill (twice). 

As the Woods get healthy, more branches will shake on this unit. Since they don’t play in Week 1, the battle for the last close defense spot battle will rage on into Charlotte.  

 – Jerome Taylor

Carolina Chaos: The new offensive blueprint is close to completion

The wealth of rookies and free agents invited to Carolina’s training camp incited exciting battles during camp, and those battles will continue. The Chaos have a combined five attackmen and five offensive midfielders rostered on the 25-man roster and can only dress eight or nine of those guys each week on the 19-man roster. 

Sergio Perkovic and Greg Coholan will likely duke it out for a spot on the gameday roster, and the younger attackmen Ross Scott and Tye Kurtz may play spoiler in that competition.  

Expect to see multiple players playing hybrid attack-midfield positions in this lineup while it continues to get ironed out.

– Hayden Lewis

Denver Outlaws: Dylan Gergar and Jack Myers get a chance

There were plenty of fresh faces for the Denver Outlaws offense this training camp. Cuts were going to be made, but who made the roster — and eventually to game day — was uncertain. 

Connor DeSimone looked primed for a roster spot after he was traded from the Utah Archers this offseason. However, Jack Myers and Dylan Gergar — the latter of whom didn’t play in the PLL last season — ultimately won the roster spots in the hybrid attack-midfield positions.

– Topher Adams

Maryland Whipsnakes: Will Manny released

The shocker of the Whipsnakes' 25-man roster was the decision to release veteran attackman Will Manny. While I never expected the Whipsnakes to start Manny at attack, especially after selecting TJ Malone in the third round, the decision to keep Keegan Khan and Kevin Winkoff as offensive options out of the box over Manny is one not many expected.

Additionally, like last year, the Whipsnakes opted to keep three goalies on the roster in Kyle Bernlohr, Brendan Krebs and undrafted rookie Will Mark.

I’ve been saying for a while that the influx of younger talent into the league might displace some of the veterans, and Manny is certainly an example of this.

– Adam Lamberti

New York Atlas: The (backup) goalie battle is ongoing

The Atlas are another squad that still has three goalies on its 25-man roster, meaning Tim Troutner and Drake Porter are both still vying for the backup spot behind presumed starter Liam Entenmann.

Also fun to note, the Atlas are the only team with only three defensemen on their 25-man. Not a surprise, as Mike Pressler has said before that he believes in the core of Michael Rexrode, Gavin Adler and Brett Makar. It's also not a cause for panic, as there are some strong LSMs (Tyler Carpenter if he makes the 19-man roster) and SSDMs (Danny Logan) who could fill in if an injury were to ever occur mid-game. 

Now, I’m just keeping my eye on why Bryan Costabile was listed at attack.

– Lauren Merola

Philadelphia Waterdogs: No faceoff specialist for Philly

The Waterdogs have no faceoff specialist on the 25-man roster. Every other team has at least one, but it looks like Philly will rely on versatile midfielders Zach Currier and Ryan Conrad to man the stripe. 

Head coach Bill Tierney kept six of the seven healthy midfielders on the roster, and weekly battles for playing time will ensue. Another interesting note is that undrafted rookie AJ Mercurio made the roster as a close defenseman after playing LSM under Tierney at Denver.

With three impact players currently injured, the Waterdogs still have some cuts to make down the road. But even without Jack Hannah, Kenny Brower and Jake Higgins, this squad is stacked with talent.

– Wyatt Miller

Utah Archers: Some big questions on defense

The Archers’ 2023 offensive core is completely intact. The defense, on the other hand, looks like a work in progress. Four of the club’s starting six defensive players from 2023 aren’t on the 25-man roster to start 2024. That means rookies Mason Woodward and Beau Pederson are going to be thrown into the fire immediately. 

Meanwhile, Patrick Shoemay’s move to the PUP list corresponds with the pickup of second-year LSM Troy Hettinger. Shoemay was slated to be a Week 1 starter at close. Now, one of Cam Wyers or Jon Robbins projects to bump down while the other takes runs at pole alongside Hettinger. Rookies Colby Barsz and Jack DiBennedetto have had strong camps and should be valuable depth pieces. 

Nevertheless, defensive coordinator Tony Resch will have his hands full getting these new pieces in place for Saturday’s Cash App Championship rematch against the Waterdogs.

– Zach Carey