Predicting the PLL Goalie Draft Order
In case you’ve been living under a rock where’s there no lacrosse or news, you’ve already heard about the
Premier Lacrosse League (PLL).
A new, tour-based professional men’s outdoor league spearheaded by Paul Rabil. The PLL has attracted the top professionals with increased pay, equity in the league, and them sweet, sweet healthcare bennies!
The league will start in June of 2019.
The players have already been announced and sometime before that there will be a draft to determine the rosters of the 6 teams.
The PLL Goalies
Here are the goalies announced who will be participating in PLL:
Adam Ghitelman Blaze Riorden Brett Queener Charlie Cipriano Dan Morris Drew Adams Gunnar Waldt Jack Concannon Jack Kelly John Galloway Kyle Bernlohr Scotty Rodgers
A couple of immediate thoughts.
Seems like they’re missing a goalie, no? If there are 6 teams, you should have a starter and a backup for each team. I only count 11 goalies.
Edit: On 12/8/2018 the PLL announced more names joining the league including the great Brett Queener so the goalie count is now at 12. I already added him to the list above and included him in my rankings.
The PLL has made the claim that they’re getting the best talent in the world. Going through this list, that’s a pretty accurate claim.
All of these guys are goalies who have proven themselves either at the college level, the pro level, the international level, or all three.
That’s a solid group of goaltenders and it’s interesting to think that half of these guys will be backups. Perhaps we’ll see some
splitting of halves or splitting of games when the PLL comes to town.
A few other goalies that I think are the top in the sport right now that I’m surprised didn’t make the move –
Brian Phipps, Dillon Ward, Nico Amato, and Austin Kaut. PLL Goalie Draft Order
So here’s my prediction of how the draft order goes in terms of the order of just goalies. As I mentioned the list is stacked.
1. John Galloway Stats: 29 yrs old. 6’0″ 188lbs. Syracuse, NY. Syracuse 2011.
Simply put John Galloway is at the top of his game right now.
Galloway is a 3-time MLL goalie of the year winning his most recent award just last year.
He also stepped into the starter role and helped Team USA win a gold medal in the 2018 world games.
Anyone who watches Galloway plays knows that’s he a great ball stopper, a great leader, and brings a ton of energy to the game!
Watching his highlights, you can just feel the energy he brings to the team:
At just 29 years of age, you gotta figure the ex-Syracuse star will still be in his prime years for a few more seasons.
He’s the head coach of the Jacksonville University Dolphins lacrosse program so we know he understands the game and how to lead men.
If I was building a PLL team John Galloway would be my top pick for a goalie.
Listen to my
podcast with Coach Galloway. 2. Jack Kelly Stats: 24 yrs old. 6’1″ 195lbs. West Islip, NY. Brown 2016
For the last two years, Jack has earned the top ranking amongst goalies for all players in the MLL.
He was the starter on Team USA until he suffered a knee injury. But that injury didn’t stop him from helping the team win gold…
Those that know Jack will tell you, he’s the real deal.
The Denver Outlaws selected Kelly in the 7th round (57th overall) of the 2016 MLL Collegiate Draft. That was a steal as Kelly’s rookie season earned him MLL rookie of the year honors in 2016.
I think he goes much higher than that in the PLL draft.
Jack is a great goalie and an even better teammate and he’s my pick for the second goalie off the board when the PLL drafts.
We also know Jack can snipe it full field.
VIDEO 3. Drew Adams Stats: 32 yrs old. 6’1″ 195lbs. Springfield, PA. Penn State 2009
Adams has enjoyed a successful career in the MLL and should make a smooth transition to dominating the new league.
He’s the owner of an MLL championship. A 4-time MLL All-Star and voted goalie of the year in the 2011, 2012, and 2015 seasons.
3-time goalie of the year including back-to-back seasons? Hmmmmm yes I’ll take that for my team.
He also played with the Team USA team that won silver in the 2014 World Games.
The big, tall lefty takes up a lot of cage and simply dominates with straight steeze (that’s style and ease for those lacking the
lax slang). VIDEO
Drew Adams is my pick for the third goalie off the board.
4. Kyle Bernlohr Stats: 26 yrs old. 5’10” 160lbs. Akron, OH. Maryland 2016
With a save percentage of 57% and an MLL championship already under his belt, Kyle Bernlohr is making sure no one sleeps on him.
One of the few goalies on this list that has an NCAA and an MLL championship and Bernlohr is still very young.
He led the MLL in save percentage in 2017.
Bernlohr also owns the greatest save ever in our game –
Kyle Bernlohr is my pick for the fourth goalie off the board.
5. Adam Ghitelman Stats: 31 yrs old. 5’9″ 180lbs. Cold Spring, NY. Virginia 2011
Pains me to put Adam so low on this list as he’s personally my favorite goalie. But as I mentioned the talent in this group is tremendous.
I wrote up a full post talking about
Ghitelman’s game and we recorded a podcast together, so I’m not going rehash all the reasons I think Adam is a great goalie.
But the passion, energy, and pure joy with which he plays the game is something you’ll want in a starting goalie.
He’s been the starting goalie for the MLL Atlanta Blaze for the past few seasons.
Ghitelman is the 5th goalie off the board in my PLL mock goalie draft.
6. Scotty Rodgers Stats: 31 yrs old. 6’4″ 250lbs. Wantagh, NY. Notre Dame 2010
Gotta include the Big Rig in my top 6 as I think he deserves a starting spot.
Bottom line – I want this guy on my team. The intensity he brings to the table is second-to-none.
Scotty is the type of guy that if he was taken as the 6th goalie in the draft, he’d use that as a chip on his shoulder to become the best the goalie the PLL has ever seen.
As a goalie, you want a leader and you want someone who will motivate and push the team to succeed. That’s what Scotty Rodgers stands for.
At 6’4″ 265lbs he’s a monster at our position that started his Occupy the Crease movement.
Even when he was a backup that didn’t stop him from continuing to get better and be a leader of the team. Those are the types of guys you want on your team.
The Big Rig was the 2016 MLL All-Star MVP.
7. Charlie Cipriano Stats: 28 yrs old. 5’11” 175lbs. Williston Park, NY. Fairfield 2012
An All-American goalie out of Fairfield University, Charlie Cipriano has been the starting keeper for the Charlotte Hounds for the last 2 years.
With 6 years of MLL experience under his belt, you know Charlie will make a smooth transition to the new PLL.
Check out my interview with
I predict Charlie to the seventh goalie off the board.
8. Blaze Riorden Stats: 24 yrs old. 6’0″ 215lbs. Fairport, NY. Albany 2016.
As a member of the Dallas Rattlers Blaze has served as a backup for John Galloway so you know he’s getting a world-class goalie education.
Blaze stick skills and knowledge of lacrosse are so strong that he actually plays in the NLL (indoor lacrosse) as a field player.
The ex-Albany standout goalie is a big man and a great goalie.
You can’t mention Blaze without including this video of his full-field run for a goal:
Check out my
interview with Blaze Riorden. 9. Brett Queener Stats: 34 yrs old. 5’10” 180lbs. Penn Yan, NY. Albany 2008.
Brett Queener is the goalie I always wanted to be. A smaller frame like mine and just a pure athlete.
If you haven’t seen Queener play do yourself a favor and watch these highlights:
Brett Queener is another guy who plays field goalie in the outdoor but has such strong stick skills and general lacrosse IQ that he plays with a shortie in the indoor league (NLL).
With Queener you get more than highlight reel full field clears. The dude brings a ton of energy to whatever team he’s on and an amazing ball stopping ability.
At 34 he is getting up there in age but I like Queener as the 9th goalie off the board.
10. Jack Concannon Stats: 22 yrs old. 6’2″ 170lbs. Syosset, NY. Hofstra 2018.
The pride of Hofstra University, Jack Concannon was the first goalie off the board in the 2018 MLL draft.
But at just 22 years of age, Jack is one of the younger goalies in the PLL. For comparison, Paul Rabil was selected in the 2008 MLL draft.
I think with a few years of seasoning Jack could easily be one of the best goalies in the league but for now he’s my #10 goalie off the board.
Listen to my
podcast with Jack Concannon. 11. Dan Morris Stats: 24 yrs old. 6’1″ 208lbs. Dallas, TX. Maryland 2018
Dan is a great goalie but as most pro goalies will tell you, it takes some time to adjust to the speed of the professional game.
Both in the number of shots you see and in the speed and accuracy of those shots.
The game is simply different and some of the things that made you a successful collegiate goalie need to improve upon for success at the next level.
So I think Dan will see some tremendous improvement as he gets some experience in the PLL.
Check out my interview with
Dan Morris. 12. Gunnar Waldt Stats: 26 yrs old. 5’11” 230lbs. Freeland, MD. Bryant 2016
To be fair, I don’t know a lot about Gunnar.
He played his college ball at Bryant University and I haven’t really watched him play.
He was taken by the Florida Launch in the 2016 draft and I haven’t really watched him play there either as he mostly backed up their starter Austin Kaut.
I could totally be sleeping on Gunnar by putting him last but Lax Goalie Rat doesn’t have a team of scouts that travel the world and provide me with feedback for this post. Yet. Sorry Gunnar.
So Gunnar is my last goalie off the board.
podcast with Gunnar Waldt. Conclusion
There we go. My prediction for how the goalies come off the board when the PLL does its draft. It goes like this:
John Galloway Jack Kelly Drew Adams Kyle Bernlohr Adam Ghitelman Scotty Rodgers Charlie Cipriano Blaze Riorden Brett Queener Jack Concannon Dan Morris Gunnar Waldt
What do you think of my PLL goalie rankings? Disagree? Let me hear it the comments down below.
Until next time! Coach Damon