The Whipsnakes added four more players to their roster on Tuesday via the 2023 PLL Draft. More comprehensive film breakdowns will follow on each selection, but here are my initial thoughts and grades on each pick.
Round 1 (#6) – Tucker Dordevic (Attack/Midfield – Georgetown)
It was no surprise to see the Whipsnakes opt for offensive firepower in Round 1, as it was what I believed to be the club’s most pressing need. With only one offensive player coming off the board before #6 overall (Sam Handley to the Chrome at #4), Coach Stagnitta had his choice of Dordevic, Virginia’s Thomas McConvey, or Villanova’s Matt Campbell. In the end, Dordevic was the selection, one of the guys I thought the Whipsnakes would target. He’s an electric dodger who uses his lightning-quick change of direction to set up shots with both hands. He will help a sometimes stagnant offensive immediately.
Round 2 (#14) – Petey LaSalla (Faceoff – Virginia)
Faceoff was the second biggest question mark for the Whipsnakes entering the draft after Joe Nardella suffered a significant knee injury in the offseason. Again, Coach Stagnitta had essentially his choice of prospect after only one went in the first round (Mike Sisselberger to Archers at #5). LaSalla is a warrior with a championship pedigree, perfect for the Whipsnakes culture. Not only can he win faceoffs at a high clip, but he has 48 career points.
Round 3 (#22) – Garrett Leadmon (Midfield – Duke)
I am not as high on Leadmon as some others may be. Personal bias aside, the pick still makes sense. Leadmon has played offensive and defensive midfield during his time at Duke, a coveted skill in today’s professional game and one the Whipsnakes could use more of. But personally, I’m not sure where Leadmon fits in on offense or defense full-time. I don’t think Leadmon’s defense is strong enough to play solely SSDM in the PLL, and I question how his downhill, alley dodging skill-set will fit into the Whipsnakes motion offense. While he is having a solid season in 2023, the lack of playing time and production in 2020, 2021, and 2022 also doesn’t sell me on Leadmon as a prospect. I would rather have seen Maryland’s Kyle Long be selected here.
Round 4 (#30) – Elijah Gash (Defense/LSM – Albany)
The son of former NFL fullback Sam Gash, the size and athleticism is the first thing that stands out about Gash. He looks physically different from most Division I lacrosse players on the field. While he’s been titled a ‘raw’ prospect, which is fair, he’s still a high-level player with solid middle of the field skills. Not only is it a low-risk, high-reward pick, but the Whipsnakes might be the best landing spot of all the teams for Gash, where he gets to learn from Michael Ehrhardt, the 4x PLL Long-Stick Midfielder of the Year.