This is probably the biggest story of the first round, Sam Handley was projected at #1 overall for weeks leading up to the draft, especially given the lack of offensive players this year. When the first three picks went defense, Coach Soudan could barely believe his eyes being able to pick the most impactful offensive player in this draft. The team needed a midfielder that could move, initiate, and finish, and Handley does all of that and more. During his career he’s accumulated 194 points, while shooting an impressive 33%. His game isn’t perfect however, he will need to work on his high turnover rate (52 turnovers in 2022, 35 turnovers in 2023) a likely result of trying to do everything for a Penn program that relied so heavily on his production. He’s an immediate starter and is an early favorite for Rookie of the Year.
Round 2, Pick 12: Troy Hettinger, LSM, Jacksonville
In my list of possible draft prospects I thought the Chrome LC would select Brian Tevlin out of Notre Dame for his ability to basically do everything but play goalie for his team. When Tevlin was drafted at #10 overall, Coach Soudan was able to get his own version of Tevlin in Troy Hettinger out of Jacksonville. Hettinger can play long-stick-midfiled, defense, and short stick when needed, a rarity at the professional level. While he may not be a brand name nationally, he’s been dominant in the ASUN conference this year, recently being named the conference’s Defensive player of the year. He was also able to earn an honorable mention All-American designation from USA Lacrosse Magazine. For the Chrome LC he should see the field immediately sharing time at LSM with Eli Salama.