10 PLL Storylines For the NLL Fan

10 PLL Storylines For the NLL Fan

It has seemed like an eternity since we last saw NLL action. 453 days to be exact... but who's counting? And with the likelihood of Senior A lacrosse looking slim, I wanted to find a way to continue the discussion regarding offseason activity. Without further ado, here are fascinating subplots of the upcoming PLL season that will have implications on the 2021-22 NLL season.

Canada's Team


The straightforward way for NLL supporters to follow the PLL is to root for the Buffalo Bandit-themed Chaos squad. They lead the league with upwards of 14 NLLers on their 25-man roster. This includes five(!) current Bandits. There is a real chance that we could see one of the Chaos’ signature 6-on-6 “box on the field” sets that includes the following Bandits: Dhane Smith (R), Chase Fraser (R), Josh Byrne (L), and Chris Cloutier (L).

Cult Canadians



Ryan Lee (Redwoods) and Graeme Hossack (Archers) are unanimous All-Star level players in the NLL. However, except for Hossack’s All-World selection in 2018, they have not received the notoriety that their talent warrants in the American field environment. Having sidestepped the Division I limelight, Lee filled the net at RIT, while Hossack played at Lindenwood. These two have been Canada’s best-kept lacrosse secret for a few years. However, after one weekend of PLL game action, that will no longer be the case.



After patiently backing up Blaze Riorden in the bubble, fan favourite Dillon Ward is finally penciled in as the starting goalie for a PLL squad. Ward getting a PLL opportunity is a win for both Colorado fans and lacrosse fans alike.

THE Shutdown SSDM


Let me preface this by saying that I think Zach Goodrich was probably under-drafted in the PLL Entry Draft when the Cannons selected at 6th overall. So far, it appears that he was over-drafted in the NLL draft (he was taken at the end of the first round in 2019 by the then New England Black Wolves). Goodrich is one of only two 1st rounders from the 2019 Draft that has yet to play in an NLL game. Disclaimer: I have no inside information on if he plans to pursue an NLL lineup spot. But if he does... watch out. Goodrich is an eraser who uses vicious reverse v-holds to harass his assignments. He is on the shortlist of players who can guard one through six. This allows the Cannons to employ a "switch-heavy" scheme. His on-ball abilities would be an asset for the Albany FireWolves.

The Return of Latrell

Latrell Harris (Archers) has not played a professional lacrosse game since December 7, 2019 when he logged 18 minutes for the Toronto Rock. An injury prohibited him from playing for the duration of the season. If he is on the game-day roster for Saturday’s game, that will have been 547 days without professional lacrosse for him. Harris likely would have wielded a long pole had he have taken the college lacrosse route, but he’ll be used as an SSDM by the Archers. Rock fans will be delighted to see Harris back in game form.

NCAA Goal Scoring Leader Goes Pro


San Diego Seals fans should be curious how Mac O’Keefe will fit in the Chaos’ quasi box lacrosse offense. O’Keefe, as a constituent in the condensed Chaos sets, will be appointment viewing. A bonus for the Seals' coaching staff is that O’Keefe will be able to build rapport with two future Seals teammates in Austin Staats (L) and Wes Berg (R). O’Keefe looping around a Staats pindown screen and getting spot fed by Berg will be an action that torments both PLL and NLL defenses.

BA Returns to Box


New York Riptide faithful will have to wait a little longer to get their eyes on their recent first overall draft choice Jeff Teat. However, an addition that I would be excited about if I was a Riptide fan is Brent Adams (two-year contract). Adams, who projects to run out the backdoor for New York, will provide a legitimate two-way ability for the rebuilt Atlas crew. The speedster has NLL experience as he played 14 NLL games throughout two seasons with the Mammoth.

Faceoff Competition in San Diego


Max Adler (Chaos) signing with the San Diego Seals has been an under-the-radar signing (one-year contract) that could have implications on the upcoming NLL season. I am interested to see if the San Diego coaching staff decides to follow the Philadelphia/New York/New England route for dealing with faceoffs. If Patrick Merrill chooses to roster a FOGO, it would give the Seals a better chance against the league’s increasing number of faceoff specialists. A key factor in the decision will be if they have the confidence to let Adler play sheltered defensive minutes. Throughout the PLL season, San Diego supporters should pay attention to Adler’s off-ball awareness when caught on defense and how he fares during 50/50 groundball battles.

A Pair of "Do Not Leave the Field" Midfielders


Ryan Terefenko (Chrome) and Bryan Costabile (Atlas) are utility midfielders that possess the potential to be horses in transition for Halifax and Philadelphia, respectively. From my understanding, neither of the 2nd round NLL draft picks have any documented box lacrosse experience, which leads me to believe that the practice squad is where both would reside for a season. My gut tells me that Terefenko would be more likely to make the NLL commitment. For their PLL teams, Costabile tilts toward the offensive side of the ball. Terefenko will likely spend most of his time on defense and the rope unit. The athletic traits for both are undeniable and transcend all versions of lacrosse.

Border Patrol


NLL fans should keep a watchful eye on the “Unavailable to Travel” list. The designation is currently held by ten Canadian NLL players who are unable to begin the season due to quarantine and visa complications. In addition to these ten players hopefully returning to PLL action, Canada-USA border restrictions will dictate how the NLL navigates the 2021-22 season starting in December.

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