PLL Lamberti: College Draft Big Board 2.0 May 6, 2024

Photo Courtesy of PLL

By Adam Lamberti | May 6, 2024

It’s finally here. The PLL draft is a day away, and I’m excited to release my final big board for over 60 prospects that I think have a chance to be drafted and/or claimed after the draft.

Dylan Hess, Patrick Hackler, and Emmett Carroll are expected to use their final years of eligibility, hence their omission from this list.

Without further ado…

1. Brennan O’Neill – A, Duke

No changes here. The top talent in the draft for my money.

Previously: #1

2. Connor Shellenberger – A, Virginia

The versatile attackman is in the conversation to be the #1 pick and for good reason. He would be a better fit for the Outlaws, but I think O’Neill should still be #1.

Previously: #2

3. Pat Kavanagh – A, Notre Dame

Kavanagh rounds out the presumed first three selections of the draft, another blue-chip prospect at attack.

Previously: #3

4. Liam Entenmann – G, Notre Dame

The best goaltender in the draft, and I would argue he’s a top-three goalie in the PLL as soon as he enters.

Previously: #4

5. Matt Brandau – A, Yale

The Yale attacker is having a Tewaaraton-winning type season. He’s an ultra-versatile attacker that can play with the ball and without the ball.

Previously: #6

6. Ajax Zappitello – D, Maryland

Zappitello was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and is a lock to be a steady starter down low.

Previously: #5

7. Jake Stevens – M, Syracuse

Wouldn’t you also want right-handed Zach Currier on your team?

Previously: #7

8. Shane Knobloch – M, Rutgers

Knobloch is the next PLL’s electrifying midfielder, drawing comparisons to Tucker Dordevic.

Read his full write-up here.

Previously: #8

9. Mason Woodward – LSM/D, Marquette

I keep flipping between Woodward and Piseno as my top LSM in the class. Who cares, they’re both going to be really good.

Read his full write-up here.

Previously: #10

10. TJ Malone – A, Penn State

The back-to-back Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year has been rising up everyone’s draft boards as of late with his ability to do it all offensively.

Read his full write-up here.

Previously: #11

11. Jake Piseno – LSM/D, Albany

Is Piseno worthy of all the hype? I believe so. The more tape I watch, the more impressed I am.

Read his full write-up here.

Previously: #19

12. Eric Dobson – M, Notre Dame

Dobson slides back a little, but he’s still a pro-ready midfielder who can change a game in a second with his shooting ability.

Previously: #9

13. Kenny Brower – D, Duke

The rugged lefty should be a dependable starter down low. He could go earlier than expected due to a thin defensive class compared to other positions.

Previously: #14

14. Graham Bundy Jr. – M, Georgetown

Say hello to the PLL’s next two-point threat. Bundy is one of the hardest shooting midfielders in the class.

Read his full write-up here.

Previously: #12

15. Beau Pederson – SSDM, Michigan

This lockdown SSDM will be the first one off the board, and could potentially be a first-round pick.

Read his full write-up here.

Previously: #13

16. Scott Cole – A/M, Lehigh

Cole’s a terrific athlete who can get to his right hand at will. He projects as a midfielder in the PLL.

Previously: #15

17. Garrett Degnon – M, Johns Hopkins

Degnon has flown up draft boards with his two-point range. He just scores goals and has the physical tools to be a steady midfielder in the league. He reminds me a little bit of Boston Cannons’ midfielder Matt Campbell.

Previously: #17

18. Scott Smith – D, Johns Hopkins

Smith is a versatile close defender that can fill multiple roles. He’s another guy that might be drafted earlier than expected. He’s having a terrific year.

Previously: #22

19. Roy Meyer – LSM, Boston University

Meyer is another terrific LSM in a great class. Scored a big-time goal against Army in the Patriot League semifinals and then two more in the Patriot League finals.

Read his full write-up here.

Previously: #20

20. Tyler Carpenter – LSM, Duke

Carpenter, like Meyer, is a left-handed LSM that has been playing forever, and seems destined to be a steady starter.

Read his full write-up here.

Previously: #18

21. Chase Yager – SSDM, Virginia

A lockdown SSDM who put on a show on-ball against Notre Dame on April 27th. Yager has a motor in transition.

Previously: #24

22. Brendan Lavelle – D, Penn*

Lavelle was on people’s radars before locking down Brennan O’Neill back in March. Another solid right-handed defender who can play both on-ball and off-ball.

*I believe Lavelle has another year of eligibility, but I have not heard if he plans to use it or not.

Previously: #25

23. Will Mark – G, Syracuse

Mark slides a little bit for me, and it’s not because he’s not a good goalie, but the position is already filled with talent.

Previously: #16

24. Matt Knote – G, Massachusetts

Knote is a gifted ball stopper with a knack for starting transition with clean saves, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be drafted as a team’s starting goaltender.

Previously: #26

25. Luke Wierman – FO, Maryland

I love Wierman, but the state of the faceoff position has me wondering where he’ll be drafted. Yes, the rule that long poles can’t faceoff makes the faceoff position more valuable compared to last year, but we still saw teams have success without a faceoff man with the 32-second shot clock.

Previously: #29

26. Jake Naso – FO, Duke

See above.

Previously: #28

27. Payton Cormier – A, Virginia

At first glance, you would think Cormier is just an elite finisher, but he’s a capable dodger too who can burn a short-stick if given the chance.

Previously: #23

28. Michael Boehm – A, Michigan

While undersized, Boehm is a flat-out playmaker who can shoot it better than he gets credit for. He had a monster game against Johns Hopkins in the Big 10 Semifinal and continued that strong play into their Big Ten Championship win.

Previously: #35

29. Brett Martin – SSDM, Johns Hopkins

A steady contributor for Johns Hopkins for a while. He doesn’t make the flashiest plays, but he gets the job done. He’s an athlete in the middle of the field.

Previously: #30

30. Marcus Hudgins – D, Ohio State

Hudgins probably should’ve been higher on my board to begin with, but his strong play down the stretch has him rocketing up the board. The Army transfer was a Third Team All-American back in 2021, and he has seemed to regain some of that form this season.

Previously: NR

31. Chris Conlin – D, Notre Dame

Conlin is as steady a defender as they come for the reigning National Champions, and the lefty would be a great third defender for any team.

Previously: #44

32. Jackson Bonitz – D, Navy

Bonitz is another great defender who could also play LSM, but concerns about his availability due to being from a service academy have him sliding a tad.

Previously: #27

33. Jacob Morin – M, Army

Similar to Bonitz, Morin’s availability from graduating from a service academy may see him slide in the draft. That being said, his shooting upside is tantalizing.

Previously: #21

34. Ross Scott – A, Rutgers

A jitterbug of an attacker who had a down year by his standards, but is talented and could be a nice option out of the box. He’s played some midfield in his time at Rugters.

Previously: #34

35. Josh Zawada – A/M, Duke

A versatile attacker who, similarly to Ross Scott, would be a nice change of pace option inverting out of the box. He could play multiple roles on an offense.

Previously: #36

36. Dyson Williams – A, Duke

People are going to look at this and say “Why is one of the best goal scorers in college lacrosse history this low on this list?”. Williams will score a lot of goals if inserted into a starting attack role, but I have serious questions about his athletic ability and dodging ability if he were to come out of the box. His upside is all contingent upon landing spot, similar to Payton Cormier.

Previously: #37

37. AJ Mercurio – LSM/D, Denver

Philadelphia Waterdogs midfielder and former Denver teammate Jack Hannah called me out for not having Mercurio higher on my initial list, and he’s right. Mercurio looks the part and has enticing offensive upside. He can bring it in transition.

Previously: #48

38. Stephen Zupicich – LSM, Villanova

Similar to Mercurio, Zupicich has impressed this season with steady offensive production and his ability to cause havoc off the faceoff wings.

Previously: #49

39. Grant Haus – SSDM, Penn State

Haus is your typical short-stick defensive midfielder. Stingy on-ball, connected off-ball, and can score goals when given the opportunity. Would provide nice depth for a team’s rope unit. He’s the brother of former Whipsnakes midfielder John Haus and current Denver Outlaws SSDM Will Haus.

Previously: NR

40. Nick Harris – SSDM, Notre Dame 

Another dependable SSDM. Harris is a National Champion that’s played in some big games against some of the best midfielders in the nation.

Previously: #31

41. James Shipley – M/SSDM, Penn

Shipley is an ultra-athletic, ultra-versatile midfielder who projects as an SSDM. Brother of Philadelphia Eagles draft pick Will Shipley.

Previously: NR

42. Levi Anderson – A, Saint Joseph’s

Anderson is another player who didn’t have his best year, but he was taken by the Chaos last year due to his box background and physical build, and don’t be surprised if that’s the team that takes him again.

Previously: #39

43. Dalton Young – A, Richmond

One of my favorite sleeper picks in this draft, Young has done nothing but produce at Richmond since his freshman year and would be an intriguing option coming out of the box, similar to Scott and Zawada.

Previously: #53

44. Alex Vardaro – M, Georgetown

Vardaro’s found his stride this season, hence the nice boost for him on this list. In any other year, Vardaro would be ranked higher, but the offensive talent in this draft has him pushed a little lower. He’s still a quality midfielder who is strong inverting and has a good stepdown shot.

Previously: #54

45. Dylan Pallonetti – A, Stony Brook

The graduate student has a rocket of a left-handed shot and is worth a high-upside swing in the later rounds of the draft.

Previously: #40

46. Chayse Ierlan – G, Johns Hopkins

Ierlan has been one of the best goaltenders in the nation this season. He’ll have a chance to compete for a backup spot in training camp, but has starting goalie potential.

Previously: #32

47. Mason Kohn – FO, Syracuse

Kohn is another offensive-minded faceoff man who would be a nice second option if a team carries multiple faceoff men. Has terrific goal-scoring upside as well.

Previously: #41

48. Alec Stathakis – FO, Denver

A strong, study faceoff man who has been super reliable throughout his time as a Pioneer.

Previously: #42

49. Saam Olexo – LSM, Syracuse

A great offensive threat, but glaring questions about his ability to defend one-on-one at the next level have him dropping.

Previously: #38

50. Matt Wright – LSM, Syracuse

Forming a nice 1-2 duo with Olexo at Syracuse, Wright has played in some big ACC contests in his time and is a battle-tested LSM that can push in transition.

Previously: #46

51. Justin Wietfeldt – FO, Michigan

Would be a nice undrafted pickup as a steady, battle-tested faceoff guy.

Previously: #47

52. Vince D’Alto – A/M, Boston University

One of the most intriguing PLL prospects in my estimation. A capable ball-carrier, D’Alto is one of the most two-handed shooters I’ve seen, a role he could carve out for himself if he made a roster.

Previously: #50

53. Mustang Sally – SSDM, Loyola

Another reliable SSDM who can make plays in the middle of the field and in transition. Also the best name in the draft.

Previously: #51

54. Mike Robinson – A, Delaware

A high-octane lefty shooter. The Canadian can put the ball in the back of the net with velocity and precision. Expect him to be a target for the Carolina Chaos late in the draft.

Previously: #52

55. Reece Potter – SSDM, Towson

Not the most athletic, but Potter just makes play after play after play for a strong Towson Tigers team.

Previously: NR

56. Michael Chabra – M, Providence

A hard-shooting lefty that has been Providence’s top dog out of the midfield for a while. Dangerous when sweeping to his left hand.

Previously: NR

57. Jake Cates – M, Boston University

Sometimes streaky, when Cates gets hot, he’s as hard a midfielder guard as any in the nation.

Previously: NR

58. Jacob Angelus – A/M, Johns Hopkins

A star quarterback for the Blue Jays, questions about his size and athleticism limit his upside at the next level.

Previously: #43

59. Adam Poitras – A, Loyola

Who needs a lefty Canadian finisher? Poitras is yet another left-handed Canadian finisher in this draft cycle, and he’s gotten better as a dodger every year.

Previously: NR

60. Brayden Mayea – A, High Point

Who needs a smaller lefty Canadian finisher? Mayea is as crafty as they come on the inside. His size is a concern, which hurts his stock as a weapon coming out of the box, but he’s as skilled a goal-scorer in this class as you’ll find.

Previously: NR

61. Evan James – A, Loyola

The Jacob Angelus of his Loyola Greyhounds team. Not the biggest or strongest, but finds ways to produce.

Previously: NR

62. Devon McLane – M/A, Notre Dame

The former Brown Bear has played high-level ball for the Fighting Irish this season as a first-line midfielder.

Previously: NR

63. Louis Perfetto – A, Boston University

An undersized X attackman that produces. Perfetto is coming off his finest season to date — a 40-goal, 40-assist campaign.