Skip to main content
Virginia's Connor Shellenberger.

PLL Mock Draft: Shellenberger 1st Overall, Entenmann a Draft Night Domino

May 1, 2024
Phil Shore
Mike Ryan

The Premier Lacrosse League College Draft will take place on Tuesday, May 7.

After what has felt like a year of anticipation, it’s time to sort out the highly touted draft of 2024. While the 2023 PLL Draft was heavy on defensive playmakers, especially in the first round, the 2024 draft class includes a bevy of offensive All-Americans.

While a few attackmen seem set to be the top three picks, it’s a goalie, Liam Entenmann, that could shift the entire draft. Only a few at that position have ever been drafted in the first round, and most teams already have a starter they are very confident in between the pipes. With that in mind, do the Atlas, who have been favorites to select the Notre Dame goalie, use one of their two first-round picks to draft him, or do they wait until the second round believing no one else will take him that high?

If they wait, does another team draft him instead of allowing him to slide to the Atlas second round pick?

“He’s kind of like the Washington quarterback that got picked and sent the NFL draft into a tailspin,” said Redwoods head coach Nat St. Laurent, one of multiple coaches who compared Entenmann to Michael Penix Jr., who was unexpectedly drafted eighth overall by the Atlanta Falcons. “Last night watching the draft, I thought that pick was the Entenmann pick in the PLL Draft.”

With that big question looming, it would be very hard to predict how the first round shakes out, let alone the trickle-down effect it could have on the other three rounds. Still, there are players with special sets of skills and teams that have holes in their lineups that need to be addressed.

The coaches have their poker faces ready, not wanting to tip their hands prior to making what they hope is a pick that helps propel them to a championship.

Related Article
Connor Shellenberger, Virginia's Selfless Superstar
Read More


1. Denver Outlaws: Connor Shellenberger, A, Virginia

The Outlaws really need an X-attackman. Brendan Nichtern was rarely available in 2023, and the team traded Jackson Morrill to the Whipsnakes. Shellenberger has broken the Virginia records for career assists and career points. As a senior, he’s dished out three or more assists in eight of the team’s 13 games. He also can call his own number, though; he’s scored four goals in big matchups against Johns Hopkins and Syracuse. Not only would the Outlaws improve because of how good Shellenberger is, but having a strong X-attackman could also bring out the best in 2022 first-overall selection Logan Wisnauskas.

2. New York Atlas: Brennan O’Neill, A, Duke

Last year, Pressler talked before the draft about how the team didn’t need more big, downhill dodgers; they needed more complimentary off-ball workers. O’Neill is big and a good dodger, but he’s also different than what was available last year. He has been considered a leading candidate for the top pick in the draft for some time now, especially since he was named the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship MVP. His size, strength and creativity make him a matchup nightmare, and he’s proven he can do it at attack or out of the box. O’Neill and Teat on the left side would be a scary duo.

3. Maryland Whipsnakes: Pat Kavanagh, A, Notre Dame

The Whipsnakes are stacked on attack already with Matt Rambo, Zed Williams, Will Manny and Morrill, but the team has been looking for dodging threats to take the load off Rambo for several seasons now. They succeeded with first-round pick Tucker Dordevic last season and would do so again with Kavanagh. He’s known for his toughness and being tenacious on the ride. That intensity would inject some life into a Whipsnakes team that has two consecutive playoff defeats at the hands of the Waterdogs and failed to make the semifinals for the first time in PLL history.

4. Carolina Chaos: Jake Stevens, M, Syracuse

Stevens is highly sought after and can do it all. He’s played defensive midfield for the Orange as a graduate transfer, but at Princeton, he scored 20 goals in his final two seasons while also playing on the wings on faceoffs. Multiple coaches have compared him to Philadelphia’s Zach Currier, who played a major role in championship appearances by the Outlaws and Waterdogs; those comparisons have been too strong in a league valuing versatility to let slide too far.

5. New York Atlas: Matt Brandau, A, Yale

It’s tempting to go with Entenmann, whom the Atlas have been linked to, but there isn’t a team between this and the Atlas’s next pick at No. 10 that needs a goalie in the slightest bit, and even if Entenmann is taken, Will Mark is still available. Instead, the Atlas take advantage of the top attackman remaining and replace the spot left open by the Chris Gray trade with the top scorer in Ivy League history and in the 2024 NCAA season through the final week of the season. He’s got more assists than anybody in the country, so finding guys like Teat and Xander Dickson won’t be a problem.

6. Boston Cannons: Shane Knobloch, M, Rutgers

The Cannons continue building a young, talented midfield. After picking up Matt Campbell in the first round in 2023, Knobloch gives them a very talented dodger who gets great separation from poles. He also has shown he is a good long-range shooter, arguably the best in the class. Coaches are looking for players that can hit the two-point shot more consistently, and players that can beat their man and draw a slide always are in style in the PLL. If what he's doing in college against poles translates to the PLL, Knobloch could have a long and successful career.

7. Philadelphia Waterdogs: Ajax Zappitello, D, Maryland

In 2023, the draft led with three defensemen off the board. It will take longer to hear the first pole called in 2024, but it would be to Philadelphia’s advantage to grab arguably the top pole in the class this late in the first round. The Waterdogs’ close defense — Liam Byrnes, Eli Gobrecht and Ben Randall — is strong, but adding depth and preparing for the future, especially with this being the last season of Randall’s current deal, is a strong move for a team that’s played int he past two championship games.

8. Utah Archers: Jake Piseno, LSM, Albany

It will be hard for any rookie to break into the 19-man roster for the defending champion, but Matt McMahon retired, so the Archers need to fill that spot. Chris Bates likes Patrick Shoemay, but Piseno would be an intriguing addition. He’s certainly been the most fun defensive player to watch in the 2024 NCAA season, and him leading transition and getting in the mix with Grant Ament, Mac O’Keefe or Tom Schreiber would be exciting. He’s good off the ground, is tough and can play LSM or close. 

Albany's Jake Piseno.
Jake Piseno has quietly had a stellar career at Albany.
Rich Barnes


9. Denver Outlaws: Kenny Brower, D, Duke

Brower is a large presence on defense that is possibly the best cover defender in college lacrosse. He’s gone up against every team’s best player, including the top three players in this draft class — including O’Neill at practice. In addition to being a starter in Denver from the beginning, he also provides a bridge to the next generation, as Jesse Bernhardt and Mike Manley are closer to retirement than the beginning of their careers.

10. New York Atlas: Liam Entenmann, G, Notre Dame

New York still gets the top goalie in the class. In 2023, the Atlas finished sixth in the league in saves and last in save percentage. They also allowed the most scores against with 140; only one other team — the Whipsnakes — allowed more than 119, and they still allowed 12 fewer than the Atlas. They signed Tim Troutner in the offseason, but drafting Entenmann at the very least should push both to compete for playing time.

11. Denver Outlaws: Graham Bundy Jr., M, Georgetown

The Outlaws finished last in the league in scoring last year, and they were last by 30 points. Of the team’s 79 total goals, 25 were scored by the midfield, so adding weapons to the cupboard is essential. In Bundy, the Outlaws would get a big body that would pair nicely on a line with last year’s first-round pick Sam Handley. He’s also a great time-and-room shooter and would be a two-point threat, which the Outlaws also finished last in with only two two-point goals.

12. Carolina Chaos: TJ Malone, A, Penn State

The Chaos have rebuilt their offense this offseason, and Malone adds an interesting wrinkle. He can dodge or feed, and he plays with great speed. Having him and Brian Minicus running around the field could wear out defenses. It also provides the Chaos with some flexibility, with either of the two able to play from behind the goal or out of the box.

13. California Redwoods: Dyson Williams, A, Duke

For all the attention on the defenders the Redwoods lost in the offseason, they also lost several midfielders: Jules Heningburg, Sergio Perkovic and Kevin Rogers. The team will also need to replenish the team on offense. Williams ran out of the box for Canada at the 2023 World Men’s Lacrosse Championship. He’s a lefty, which would fill a need for California, and has a big frame, and St. Laurent is known to be a fan of big midfielders.

14. Boston Cannons: Jake Naso, FO, Duke

Now that Ethan Rall will not be allowed to take faceoffs with a long pole, it’s imperative the Cannons find a long-term solution at the position, one they haven’t had since their inception in the PLL. Not only is Naso a top faceoff athlete — his current lowest winning percentage in a season is 56 percent — he also has 20 career goals, making him a threat to make it and take it, which is helpful with the shortened shot clock.

15. Philadelphia Waterdogs: Eric Dobson, M, Notre Dame

The Waterdogs have experienced plenty of injuries on the offensive side of the ball the past couple seasons. Last year, Jake Carraway and Connor Kelly fell a few games short of the complete 10-game season, 2023 first-round pick Thomas McConvey played in only four games and Mikie Schlosser hasn’t played since getting hurt in the 2022 semifinals. Dobson might have been a first rounder had he been in the draft in 2023, and while his statistics haven’t been as strong in 2024, he’s still an important piece of the Notre Dame offense. He has range, can get back in the hole and play defense and is used to doing what it takes to be a part of a successful team.

16. Utah Archers: Beau Pederson, SSDM, Michigan

There are a few midfielders that are considered more like two-way players that can contribute on both sides of the ball, but Pederson — from Park City, Utah — is a true defensive midfielder. He’s a physical player that will crowd opposing players. That will be emphasized even more on a smaller field than what he played on in college. The Archers most likely won’t have Latrell Harris ready for the season, so adding depth at the position with a hometown player is a good idea.

Related Article
Why Mason Woodward, Marquette Were the Perfect Match
Read More


17. Maryland Whipsnakes: Mason Woodward, LSM, Marquette

The retirement of Michael Erhardt leaves a huge opening on the roster. The team likes Colin Squires, and it did just acquire Matt Rees, but Rees is coming off major knee surgery. Woodward is a highly regarded prospect. He’s great off the ground, gets his stick in passing lanes and can lead the transition game effectively.

18. California Redwoods: Tyler Carpenter, LSM, Duke

After losing Garrett Epple in free agency and John Sexton and Eddie Glazener to retirement, the Redwoods are rebuilding their defense. Carpenter’s been a USILA third-team All-American selection three times and can play LSM or down low, providing some positional flexibility.

19. Denver Outlaws: Josh Zawada, A, Duke

First, Zawada set scoring records at Michigan. Now, as a graduate student at Duke, he’s only four points behind prospective top-two pick O’Neill as the team’s leading scorer. He’s an athletic player that would get a chance to shine on an offense that desperately needs players that can score.

20. Carolina Chaos: Payton Cormier, A, Virginia

The Chaos continue to add offensive options and versatility by adding one of the best goal scorers in NCAA history. Many of his looks come from his movement off-ball, which would be a big help being able to plug him into a lineup.

21. California Redwoods: Will Mark, G, Syracuse

The Redwoods re-signed Jack Kelly, but they lost Tim Troutner in free agency and will need to have a second goalie. Mark has gotten high praise from PLL coaches as well as former professional coaches like Joe Spallina. In 15 games in 2024, he made double-digit saves in all but two, the most impressive being his 14-save effort in a 10-4 victory over Duke. He’s also from California, which has more meaning now that teams have been assigned homes.

22. Maryland Whipsnakes: Marcus Hudgins, D, Ohio State

The Whipsnakes traded Bryce Young during the offseason and need to find the player that will fill that spot. Hudgins first found success at Army as the 2021 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year. He’s started every game for the Buckeyes since transferring and is leading the team in caused turnovers for a second year in a row.

23. Philadelphia Waterdogs: AJ Mercurio, LSM, Denver

New coach Bill Tierney continues to add depth to the defense by bringing in a player from his former team that is routinely an All-Big East selection and forces turnovers.

24. Utah Archers: Garrett Degnon, A/M, Johns Hopkins

He’s a big, strong lefty that has two consecutive seasons of at least 40 goals and is one goal away in 2024 from stretching that streak to three seasons.

Syracuse's Saam Olexo.
Saam Olexo has caused 11 turnovers with 36 ground balls in 2024.
Rich Barnes


25. Denver Outlaws: Luke Wierman, FO, Maryland

Connor Farrell is still a free agent, leaving Denver with zero faceoff athletes on its roster, so selecting a player with Wierman’s pedigree would be a big addition. He is the only Terrapin to win more than 700 faceoffs in a career and is second in program history in ground balls.

26. New York Atlas: Roy Meyer, LSM, Boston U

Tucker Durkin retired, leaving a massive hole at close defense, but it’s possible last year’s first-round pick, Brett Makar, moves back to his natural position. Meyer is an All-American that is good off the ground.

27. Maryland Whipsnakes: Grant Hause, SSDM, Penn State

The Whipsnakes continue to fortify their defensive depth by adding a big defensive midfielder that has been considered “plug and play” because of his athleticism and discipline.

28. Carolina Chaos: Levi Anderson, A/M, Saint Joseph’s

Andy Towers obviously likes Anderson’s game after drafting him last year in hopes he could convince Anderson to play in the PLL instead of return to the Hawks. With no doubt about his eligibility this year, Towers takes another crack at the versatile scorer.

29. California Redwoods: Saam Olexo, LSM, Syracuse

Olexo is another pole who, while naturally an LSM, has also played close defense. He’s also featured on the faceoff wings, giving a rebuilding Redwoods defense plenty of ways to utilize him.

30. Boston Cannons: Alexander Vardaro, M, Georgetown

In Vardaro’s final season with Princeton before transferring to Georgetown, he had 21 goals and a team-best 20 assists. He became the third midfielder in 40 years at Princeton to have 20 goals and 20 assists, joining Currier and Schreiber. That’s elite company that has done very well in the PLL, and the Cannons will look to see if Vardaro — who has played a little attack as well — can continue the trend.

31. Philadelphia Waterdogs: Alec Stathakis, FO, Denver

The Waterdogs don’t have a faceoff athlete on the roster after releasing James Reilly, last season’s fourth-round pick. Tierney waits to get a player he knows well who also has a 60-percent career winning percentage.

32. Utah Archers: Dalton Young, A, Richmond

He’s fast, he can shoot and he’s posted monster numbers for Richmond, scoring over 30 goals every full season and has his second consecutive 70-plus point season in 2024. On the Archers (or any team), he wouldn’t need to be the top guy, nor would he be guarded by the opposition’s top pole, so it will be exciting to see how his speed and scoring translate.