Alright, folks, let’s do this one more time, shall we? This is not our first mock expansion draft for the 2021 Cannons, but it is the first one with actual information. Specifically, we learned the protected rosters for the other seven clubs Monday. With our player pool established, it’s time to go about selecting the 18 players who will join Paul Rabil in becoming the inaugural Cannons here on the PLL side of things.
Rather than do this in a draft order, I’m going to break down my mock squad here by position. I’m not really sure what order these guys will go in, but the Cannons are the only ones drafting, so does order really matter? We’ll start on offense.
A quick reminder about the rules: 18 players, only three players from a specific franchise. Let’s take a look at the protections lists for each team before moving forward:
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Now, let’s make a roster.
Cannons LC Mock Expansion Draft Update
Selected (3): Ryan Drenner (Waterdogs), Matt Gaudet (Chrome), Miles Thompson (Chaos)
I’m going with just three attackmen in the expansion draft. Considering I fully expect the Cannons to draft Lyle Thompson No. 1 overall in the Entry Draft, that gets us to four, and we’ll fill out the fifth spot (if needed) through the College Draft.
Miles Thompson is an obvious pick here. We reunite him with Lyle, which is instantly a blast. He’s also a former Tewaaraton winner and 2019 PLL All-Star who is more than capable of impacting the game. Similarly, Ryan Drenner has a history of producing in big moments, especially in his Whipsnakes days. He got slightly buried last season, but I believe in him.
The final spot was a little trickier. I considered Ben Reeves, but decided that I need the additional Waterdogs spot for later on. I also considered Clarke Petterson. In the end, though, I went with Gaudet. He had a good season for Chrome, and I also want to let his personality free in a way that Chrome wasn’t interested in. I think he could run some middie too, a la former Chrome teammate Jesse King.
Selected (8): Brent Adams (Redwoods), Connor Buczek (Atlas), Deemer Class (Chaos), Josh Currier (Archers), Nick Ossello (Redwoods), Max Tuttle (Whipsnakes), Kevin Unterstein (Atlas), Joe Walters (Redwoods)
Offensively, this is already a really exciting group. Joe Walters is getting older, but he’s a guy who can play attack or midfield, shoot from outside, and move the ball with great vision. He gets to keep a linemate in Brent Adams, who fits that same bill, only with some more youthful athleticism.
Connor Buczek is not someone I expected to be available, but he’s coming to the Cannons now. The Cornell man is a scary dodger and a two-point threat. He should be able to do some damage for the Cannons offense. Similarly, Deemer Class had two separate hat tricks in 2019, becoming a reliable offensive weapon for Chaos before missing 2020 due to injury. Max Tuttle and Josh Currier both add flexibility and offensive firepower to the squad.
I also went ahead and added a little depth in the SSDM ranks here. Kevin Unterstein played plenty for Atlas and could bounce back. Nick Ossello might be known more for his off-field personality, but let’s not forget he played in every single game in Utah this past summer. Give the man a chance, even if Redwoods didn’t (#ProtectOssello). I wanted Donny Moss but needed more Chrome spots for later. Ditto Joey Sankey for Archers.
Selected (1): Drew Simoneau (Waterdogs)
On the specialist side of things, Drew Simoneau was one of only five FOS that finished above 50% in 2020 and now gets a chance here to be the go-to guy for a squad in 2021.
Selected (5): Curtis Corley (Archers), Reece Eddy (Chrome), Brodie Merrill (Waterdogs), Jake Pulver (Chrome), Troy Reh (Chaos)
Here we go ahead and raid the Chrome for half of Cannons’ expansion poles. Reece Eddy was one of the best rookies in pro lacrosse in 2020, and I’m surprised to be able to select him here but happy to have him. Jake Pulver is another useful player. Curtis Corley, meanwhile, is yet another in a long line of successful pro poles from Maryland and should be helpful here.
In aging legends, we dip back in to steal Brodie Merrill, one of the best poles I’ve ever seen who definitely still has some left in him. Cannons will need more help in the Entry Draft here, but this is good defensive depth. Finally, we steal Troy Reh away from the Chaos. Yes, this is too many LSMs, but I’m just trying to collect talent.
Selected (1): Adam Ghitelman (Archers)
This is why we can’t draft Joey Sankey. I don’t want to gamble on which goalies are available in the Entry Draft, and Archers were nice enough to leave Cannons a starting goalie (unlike Chaos…). Ghitelman gets a shot to be a full-time starter, although I suspect that Cannons could take a second goalie at some point for competition. A dark horse here? Jack Kelly, who is unprotected by Redwoods and was USA quality before a devastating knee injury in 2018.
Cannons Mock Expansion Draft Selections By Team
Archers: 3 (Curtis Corley, Josh Currier, Adam Ghitelman)
Atlas: 2 (Connor Buczek, Kevin Unterstein)
Chaos: 3 (Deemer Class, Troy Reh, Miles Thompson)
Chrome: 3 (Reece Eddy, Matt Gaudet, Jake Pulver)
Redwoods: 3 (Brent Adams, Nick Ossello, Joe Walters)
Waterdogs: 3 (Ryan Drenner, Brodie Merrill, Drew Simoneau)
Whipsnakes: 1 (Max Tuttle)