Welcome to the Lax All Stars 2021 PLL Rookie Spotlights series!
The PLL College Draft was held April 26, introducing 32 players into the PLL fold. The league’s training camp is set for May 28 through June 3 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, to determine the final rosters of the eight teams for the 2021 campaign.
Not all 32 of these players will make a team, but right now, the dream is alive for them all. We’re counting down the days until the PLL opens up its training camp by delving deep into every player selected in the 2021 PLL College Draft, with two players included in each post, with help from Ryder Cochrane, Ryan Conwell, Nick Zoroya, and Nick Pietras.
Next up: Michael Sowers and Ethan Walker.
2021 PLL Rookie Spotlights: Michael Sowers & Ethan Walker
School: Duke (Princeton Transfer)
Who drafted him & when: Michael Sowers was selected No. 2 overall by Waterdogs LC.
Is this about where he was expected to go: Perhaps the most anticipated part of the this year’s draft was whether Michael Sowers or Cornell attackman Jeff Teat would be the first overall pick. Many had Sowers as a lock for most of the offseason, especially with Teat not playing a second of lacrosse in 2021. As the draft got closer, Teat became a popular pick to go No. 1 instead of Sowers. Ultimately, Teat went first to Atlas LC, making Sowers the automatic pick for the Waterdogs.
What are the main skills he brings to the team: Remember what Grant Ament did for the Archers? Michael Sowers has the ability to supercharge the Waterdogs in a very similar way. His quickness is unmatched, he has an uncanny ability to find open teammates, and he can draw a double with the best of them. Let’s just hope head coach Andy Copelan will let Sowers play a bit above the cage.
How’s the fit: As Joe Keegan brought up, the Waterdogs only had 15% of their goals assisted. With Michael Sowers, they have a creator who will break down a defense, beat the first man, draw attention, and find the open looks. He will easily slide into the role of creator and distributor for the offense.
Who’s the competition & what are the odds he makes the team: Like Ament in 2020, Michael Sowers immediately takes his place as QB for his new team. There’s no chance he doesn’t make the team.
Who drafted him & when: Ethan Walker was selected No. 27 overall (Round 4, Pick 3) by Waterdogs LC.
Is this about where he was expected to go: Ethan Walker was slated to go anywhere from the early third to early fourth round. I believe that the skillset he adds made it an easy decision for Coach Copelan to take him in the fourth.
What are the main skills he brings to the team: Ethan Walker has been coached at an extremely high level throughout his career. He grew up in Ontario before attending the prestigious Culver Military Academy on his way to national power Denver. He has all of the tools you expect from a high-level box player who has also worked under offensive wizard Matt Brown. He can flat out score, has eyes in the back of his head, and at some point we’ll see him hitch a defender into oblivion on NBC this summer.
How’s the fit: Ethan Walker would have been a nice addition to the Waterdogs in any year, but adding him the same year as Michael Sowers makes him an even better fit. Sowers will be drawing doubles and dishing passes everywhere. Who better to receive those passes than Walker, the human hitch? Walker will take advantage of overzealous defenders hoping to quickly recover and find his way to the net. Having a world-class shooter like Ryan Brown opposite him could mean that Walker ends up with just as many assists as goals this season.
Who’s the competition & what are the odds he makes the team: It’s unlikely that Ethan Walker gets cut. His ability to play out of the box as a midfielder makes him more valuable than some of the other attackmen. To start at attack, he’ll be directly competing with Ben Reeves and Michael Kraus.
More PLL Rookie Spotlights
There will be plenty of PLL Rookie Spotlights to check out between now and the start of training camp. You can find information about the incoming rookie class here.