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2020 PLL Expansion Draft Results: Connor Kelly, Drew Snider Go To Waterdogs

The 2020 PLL Expansion Draft results are in, and we now have a clear picture of the roster for Waterdogs LC for next season. Let’s take a look at the picks and some thoughts about the Premier Lacrosse League draft.

2020 PLL Expansion Draft Results

Early Thoughts On The Draft

The expansion draft was likely a similar situation to the initial 2019 player draft, where it was a pre-recorded segment that the league ran, this time on its YouTube channel. This makes sense to do for the league because it gives them complete control over what is presented and makes it a lot easier to have a cohesive and coordinated plan of attack to present things on social media. The league has been very careful about controlling information about itself so this is more of the same and not at all unexpected. If you’d like a deeper dive into how the PLL has worked, including its inaugural season, take a look at Ryan Conwell’s analysis of last season’s introductory year for the Premier Lacrosse League by clicking here.

I’ve collected some thoughts about the draft, but if you want to see the results then just skip to the bottom the page.

How It Was Presented

I thought the production was really nice and that Ryan Boyle does a great job with analysis and his on-camera personality. It is a really good production quality compared to a lot of other things we see in the sport. They got through things fairly quickly, I don’t think it took more than 20-30 minutes. The league only tweeted out the first five picks on its account, and the rest were announced on the Waterdogs account in realtime. This draft is arguably not as big of a deal as its initial draft, so no real surprises there. It was an entertaining experience — which is ultimately what sports is I suppose — and I thought that Andy Copelan was good on the video. The 2020 PLL Expansion Draft results were presented well and I thought good choices were made. It should be fun to see how they do this year.

Utilizing Sports Analytics

One other observation that is interesting but not really super important is that the league is taking a deeper dive into player statistical analysis similar to what we ran this past PLL season with our PLL By The Numbers series. I’ll just cite this Joe Keegan tweet below as an example:

I know Joe Keegan took a look at stuff like that last year, and I know the league released an end-of-season sort of post about this topic, but I didn’t see much else about it.

The PLL was really limited in releasing any statistics last year and I certainly didn’t see the same amount or the same depth of stats that they referenced in this broadcast last being publicized last summer. I think it’s great they are taking a bigger look at this, which at the very least will enhance the fan experience.

That project was spearheaded by Wayne and Greg Winston — Wayne pioneered advanced sports analytics in the NBA working with Mark Cuban and Greg, his son, is a big lacrosse guy and has a mind for stats himself. They would track major stats throughout the game and then create an analysis based on formulas they came up with to assign worth to a play or stat. A lot of this number stuff is over my head, but it’s cool to explore it. Be sure to check out the series, which capped off with our season review that you can find here.

List of 2020 PLL Expansion Draft Results: Pick-By-Pick

Note: Previous players’ teams listed in the heading are the last known franchises in the PLL to have the rights to those players according to what I knew about them. It’s possible those are different or that some of these players were part of the player pool.

No. 1 – Connor Kelly (Whipsnakes)

No. 2 – Christian Cuccinello (Archers)

No. 3 – Brodie Merrill (Chaos)

No. 4 – Charlie Cipriano (Chaos)

No. 5 – Ben Reeves (Whipsnakes)

No. 6 – Kyle McClancy (Chaos)

No. 7 – Kieran McArdle (Atlas)

No. 8 – Brian Karalunas (Redwoods)

No. 9 – Ben McIntosh (Archers)

No. 10 – Drew Snider (Whipsnakes)

No. 11 – Ryan Drenner (Whipsnakes)

No. 12 – Noah Richard (Atlas)

No. 13 – Stephen DeNapoli (Atlas)

No. 14 – Wes Berg (Redwoods)

No. 15 – Chris Sabia (Chrome)

No. 16 – Ryan Conrad (Atlas)

No. 17 – Danny Eipp (Archers)

No. 18 – Drew Simoneau (Chrome)

Thoughts On The Selections

Waterdogs LC definitely was able to secure a lot of talent. Taking Connor Fields with the first pick is a great move. It was smart to make it a big pick, but considering that there were no other teams they were drafting against and it’s a pre-recorded broadcast, it’s only about presentation as there’s no incentives involved in actually taking better players with higher picks. Wes Berg, Ryan Drenner, Ryan Conrad and Kieran McArdle are all big names in lacrosse and great players to have to compete on the field. Having an extra pro lacrosse team to be able to fill a roster for is great because now more players trying to play at the professional level are going to get that opportunity. I thought selecting Ben Reeves was a nice addition, although as was discussed on the broadcast he is having the conflict of medical school so we will see what his future availability is like. He likely had to commit to a major portion of this upcoming season in order to be drafted, otherwise, it wouldn’t have been a good fit.

Last summer we saw a high amount of parity in the league, and I fully expect that we will see a lot of close scores between Waterdogs and the other Premier Lacrosse League teams. The league has been selling this team as a revenge-based team with the idea its selections were players the other teams didn’t want. We’ll see how they play that angle up. I’m personally looking forward to another great season of pro lacrosse. But first, it’s time to soak up the rest of the early-NCAA season.

What were your thoughts on the 2020 PLL Expansion Draft? Who would you have taken if you were choosing for Waterdogs LC? Share in the comments and tag us on social media (@LaxAllStars).

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