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.
First up: Jeff Teat and Jared Conners.
2021 PLL Rookie Spotlights: Jeff Teat & Jared Conners
Who drafted him & when: Jeff Teat was selected No. 1 overall by Atlas LC.
Is this about where he was expected to go: I mean, yeah, roughly. There was a lot of debate over the course of the draft leadup between Teat and Duke’s Michael Sowers. The two of them dueled for years as arguably the two best players in the Ivy League. In the end, Jeff Teat was selected first overall, becoming the most recent double No. 1 pick after the Riptide selected him first overall in the 2021 NLL Draft.
What are the main skills he brings to the team: Jeff Teat is a do-it-all attackman who should instantly become the lead quarterbacking attackman on Atlas. A Tewaaraton nominee in both 2018 and 2019, Teat is third all-time in points for the Big Red in just three years and five games (including the shortened 2020 season). He finished his time in Ith-Vegas with 104 goals and 137 assists, showing the balance that makes Teat worthy of the No. 1 overall pick. He’s also a career 43% shooter, showcasing his elite box skills as a finisher. Teat could lead the league in goals or assists, and neither would surprise me (well, as a rookie it might, but we’re talking future props here).
How’s the fit: If we’re being honest, Atlas basically cleared out its offense in order to hand the keys to Jeff Teat. It might not have known it was going to be Teat at the time, but Atlas moved on from the likes of Paul Rabil and Rob Pannell to rebuild the offense, and Teat now becomes the centerpiece of that rebuild. He’ll slot into the same sort of offensive leadership role that he had at Cornell. There’s not much of a system to fit into yet, because the system likely gets built around Teat at this point. This is a very young offense, and Teat should get to grow with it.
Who’s the competition & what are the odds he makes the team: Jeff Teat is the No. 1 overall pick. He’s 100% going to make the team. The question just becomes who starts at attack for the Atlas around him.
Who drafted him & when: Jared Conners was selected No. 5 overall by Archers LC.
Is this about where he was expected to go: Talent wise, absolutely. Jared Conners is arguably the best defender in the draft, in addition to being a mean transition weapon. Archers specifically is a little odd given it already has a great LSM in Scott Ratliff, but fifth overall isn’t a reach.
What are the main skills he brings to the team: All of them? Okay, probably not faceoffs or goalie play, but Jared Conners does pretty much everything else. He’s a fantastic defender, capable of both causing turnovers and snagging ground balls. He can score or feed in transition, play the wings for faceoffs, play man down, etc. There’s not a lot you’d ask an LSM to do that Conners isn’t already quite good at.
How’s the fit: A little weird. Not because Jared Conners isn’t a great defender, but because the Archers already had one of the three finalists for LSM of the Year in Scott Ratliff. At 29 years old, it’s not like Ratliff is about to age out any time soon. I’m curious to see what happens with this. They could potentially move one of them to close defense. They could look to trade Ratliff (I wouldn’t, but I’m not in charge). They could also just keep both and run a well-rested LSM every time. That’s a bit of a luxury pick but also a terrifying proposition for opposing midfielders.
Who’s the competition & what are the odds he makes the team: Jared Conners will make the team. He’s a top-five pick, and he’s been comped to Michael Ehrhardt. The fit issue is a bit weird, but I’m not sure if Ratliff is really considered a competition. I don’t think, at least in the short term, that Archers drafted Conners to replace Ratliff, but we’ll see how that situation plays out.
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.