Year in and year out, we see rookies enter the league who play like seasoned veterans. The inaugural season it was the wonder kids for the Redwoods, Timmy Troutner and Ryder Garnsey. In 2020 we saw the first two picks Grant Ament and Bryan Costabile ascend quickly through the league. Who can forget the breakout campaigns of Jeff Teat, TD Ierlan, and Stephen Rehfuss in 2021? Well long behold, the kids from the 2022 class are balling early. But who will be the 2022 PLL Rookie of the Year?
Below I go in detail of these players and make my pick for the 2022 PLL Rookie of The Year. Disclaimer, shoutout Brett Kennedy and Arden Cohen. They have all played solid this season being inserted in the starting lineup from the early stages, but as a former attackman who got beat up by defensemen, their praise will have to come in a different article (from a different writer as well).
The Tewaaraton winner was the No.1 overall selection in the 2022 PLL draft. His play has showed he is worthy of this selection and quite frankly, this dude still seems underrated to me. Nobody, besides myself (receipts on my Twitter @ConTweetiorden), called Wisnauskas going No.1 overall. Despite winning the Tewaaraton, NCAA D1 National Championship, and becoming Maryland’s all-time leading point scorer, everybody was calling for Chris Gray.
Luckily, Tim Soudan’s internet connection was down for all of mock draft season which allowed him to take the lefty attackman he desperately needed. The selection has paid dividends, despite missing last weeks game, Wiz is twelfth in the PLL with 18 points. The crafty lefty’s game is deep and fun to watch. Fans certainly hope to see him back on the field as soon as possible.
Labeled as Mr.Unassisted goals by the legend Paul Carcaterra, if you haven’t heard during an Archers game already, he leads the league in unassisted goals. Moore has made the transition from attack to midfield look easy in the PLL. Used to playing along a cast of stars in Virginia’s two national championship teams, Moore has fit like a glove in the Archers offense and just made the group that much more dangerous. A bit of a surprise falling to No.4 in the draft, Moore has 17 points on the season, which is eighteenth in the PLL currently. I look forward to seeing his game continue to grow, and have thoroughly enjoyed his Iso Joe Johnson type of play.
The consensus No.1 selection on lax twitter (who ended up going No.2), has proved throughout his first season he was worthy of that title. Gray has been everything the lacrosse community thought he would be in the PLL, and maybe even a little more. Playing along side MVP candidate Jeff Teat and crafty veteran Eric Law, Gray has brought another dimension to this attack line making the Atlas offense just that more dangerous. Gray currently sits at seventh in the league in points, showing absurd balance in his stat line with 11 goals, one two point goal, and 11 assists. I will be surprised if he does not win an MVP award within the next five seasons.
The Second Lieutenant Brendan Nichtern has been the steal of the draft, falling to the second round. Not only was he the steal of the draft, he has been the best rookie in the PLL and is the favorite to take home Rookie of the Year. There’s a chance he is a candidate for Eamon McEneaney attackman of the year as well. The No.9 overall selection is fourth in the league behind only Lyle Thompson, Will Manny, and tied with Jeff Teat at 28 points. He is the quarterback of the Chrome’s offense and just seems to have a calming presence whenever the ball is in his stick.
An absolute beast attacking from X and getting to his shot, he can also pick apart the defense with x-ray like vision. He reminds me of RP3 and quite frankly the sky’s the limit. Tim Soudan found a gem and Nichtern, lacrosse fans can look forward to seeing him dominate throughout his career, that is if the Army doesn’t take him away first.