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: Nick Grill and Gerard Arceri.
2021 PLL Rookie Spotlights: Nick Grill & Gerard Arceri
Who drafted him & when: Nick Grill was selected No. 31 overall (Round 4, Pick 7) by Whipsnakes LC.
Is this about where he was expected to go: It was pretty alarming to see the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year fall this low in the draft. He has progressively gotten better year after year and is having his breakout season his senior year. Nick Grill should’ve been a second round pick, but it’s understandable why teams have their concerns.
What are the main skills he brings to the team: Nick Grill is 5-foot-8, which is a glaring issue when you have to guard players like Jules Heningburg, who is 6-foot-2. This was the main reason he fell so low in the draft as teams didn’t want to take a chance on a guy who might not be able to keep up with bigger attackmen. That being said, Grill certainly checks off all the other boxes when it comes to being an elite defenseman. He currently has 38 ground balls and 16 caused turnovers this season. He plays very fundamental lacrosse and has phenomenal vision.
How’s the fit: The fit is perfect as Jim Stagnitta added another Terrapin to his strictly-Maryland defense. If any team was going to take Nick Grill, it was certainly going to be the Whipsnakes. Having already known the Maryland defense, Grill will have no issue fitting into this defensive scheme. Also having your entire defense consist of Maryland alumni only enhances the team chemistry.
Who’s the competition & what are the odds he makes the team: It will be interesting to see how training camp goes as he definitely could make the roster as a backup pole. It all really boils down to if he can hang with some of the best players in the world, which is no small feat. I personally see Nick Grill making the Whipsnakes roster as the team is currently shorthanded on D-poles.
School: Penn State
Who drafted him & when: Gerard Arceri was selected No. 26 overall (Round 4, Pick 2) by Atlas LC.
Is this about where he was expected to go: I’m happy to see Gerard Arceri get picked up by a PLL team. With the faceoff position being such an exclusive club at the professional level, it wouldn’t have been surprising if Arceri fell to free agency. No one really expected Arceri to go anywhere as not many teams in the league need faceoff help right now, especially a FOGO coming out of the fourth round.
What are the main skills he brings to the team: Gerard Arceri was the starting faceoff man for the Nittany Lions for five-straight years. He finished his career at Penn State with a 62% faceoff win percentage, which is nothing to be ashamed of. The dude wins faceoffs, and there isn’t really a way around it. Coming in at 6-foot, 200 pounds, he certainly is big enough to battle at the faceoff X at the pro level. During his last two season at Penn State, he only turned over the ball three times, which is phenomenal coming from the faceoff position. He certainly is a valuable asset to have, and it will be intriguing to see if he can keep up with the seasoned veterans in the league.
How’s the fit: The fit is decent, to say the least. The Atlas currently have Trevor Baptiste as their faceoff man, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Gerard Arceri would have fit in well on any team as a second string FOGO, but it’s nice to see him on Atlas where Arceri can certainly learn a thing or two from Baptiste. Especially considering he was a fourth round pick, this is a definite win for the Atlas as there isn’t a lot of risk in this pick, which is rare coming out of the fourth round.
Who’s the competition & what are the odds he makes the team: Gerard Arceri certainly makes the team to serve as the backup faceoff man. You could make the argument that Baptiste is his competition, but Arceri isn’t a starter in this league yet, so I don’t think it’s fair to compare him against the current Atlas No. 1. Arceri will serve his role as the backup up nicely and gain a ton of knowledge from Baptiste in the long run.
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.