After winning the inaugural Championship Series, Chrome LC is taking the league by storm. At the end of the 2022 PLL regular season, the team was in the top 3 of almost every major statistical category. So what is GM and Head Coach Tim Soudan to do in this draft? The same thing he does every year: Find a way to get better without jeopardizing the culture that he’s built. I suspect that this year he will be looking to improve three things: speed on offense, depth on defense, and trying to find the next Joel White at LSM.
Speed on Offense
To put it bluntly, the roster is filled with skill at the offensive end but even the most loyal fans would be apprehensive to call it a fast unit. The midfield unit averages 6’3 across the board and are known to be hard-nosed downhill dodgers. Chrome LC Head Coach Tim Soudan admits that the team could use a bit more speed through the midfield to give the team more versatility. While the draft may be deep with defensive and faceoff talent, look for Coach Soudan to focus on speed at the midfield, or a shifty attackmen that can move down to midfield.
The defensive unit is one of the most skilled in the league. Led by 24 year old and 2022 Dave Pietramala Defensive Player of the Year JT Giles-Harris, the future is bright. His linemates Michael Manley and Jesse Bernhardt, no matter how skilled they may be, are reaching the later years of their careers (32 and 34 years old respectively). WIth Manley coming off on an NLL season, and Bernahardt/Giles-Harris playing for Team USA, it would benefit the Chrome to have another close defenseman to lighten the load in the case of nagging injuries while also solidifying the future. This year’s draft is deep with defensive talent, and with a lack of first round offensive talent I could see Chrome drafting the best defenseman available at pick #4.
Range Between the Boxes
The Chrome LC misses Joel White. White, a legendary LSM had a skill set and IQ that have proven difficult to replace since his retirement in 2021. Eli Salama does a good job at long stick midfield for the team but the team lacks depth at the position. Nick Grill is an excellent pole but he’s playing out of position, as he’s more suited for close defense. In a league that values transition and fast play, this is a position where Coach Soudan can improve the roster. I could see the Chrome LC drafting a late round LSM as a project with a focus on athleticism over pedigree or production.
The Premier Lacrosse League 2023 College Draft starts at 7 p.m. ET on May 9. Watch all 32 picks of the draft live from ESPN Studios on ESPNU or ESPN+.