Facing Harsh Reality, Bryce Wasserman Gets Another PLL Opportunity


Bryce Wasserman was resigned to the fact that his professional lacrosse career could very well be over.

“The writing on the wall to me was that it was over,” Wasserman said. “Everyone always wants to end their career on their own terms. Everyone wants to be Kyle Harrison. You want to play until the very last possible moment, and that will be the end of your career. The harsh reality is that’s not reality. Someone, somewhere is going to take your spot. That was something that definitely struck me this past offseason.”

Wasserman went from a seventh-round pick out of Monmouth to the Major League Lacrosse Most Valuable Player in the league’s final season. But when the MLL merged with the Premier Lacrosse League, he found himself fighting for a spot again. There are only so many opportunities for X attackmen available in the league, and he learned that quickly. He played in just two games in 2021, one each for the Cannons and the Chaos.

“Coming off that high from the MLL, we’ve got the merger,” Wasserman said. “I’m feeling really good about the prospects of playing in the PLL and hopefully finding my spot. Last year bouncing around a little bit and not really sticking anywhere, I won’t lie, it was tough.”

His prognosis didn’t look great for this season. But then he got the call he was waiting on from Chaos coach Andy Towers.

“Looking at everyone’s rosters, obviously with the NLL overlap, playing for Chaos was a big possibility,” Wasserman said. “When that came true and Towers gave me the call to say those guys were out and he needed to fill the roster, I was ready to jump at that opportunity.”

Wasserman is one of a handful of players taking advantage of the added opportunity created by the schedule overlap between the National Lacrosse League and the PLL. A large contingent of the Chaos roster is still playing for an NLL Cup, including Max Adler, Josh Byrne, Chris Cloutier, Chase Fraser, Ian MacKay, Tehoka Nanticoke and Dhane Smith. While Towers and the staff would love to have all of them in the fold from day one, each player's absence is another player's boon.

With no Adler at the faceoff X, Thomas Kelly got the chance to take all 19 of the team’s draws in Chaos’ season opener against Whipsnakes. Bradley Voigt was put in position to score the first goal of that game after the former Syracuse stud sat on the sidelines all last season. His emphatic celebration showed how much it meant to him to be back.

Even without so many big names in Albany, New York, Chaos was up at the half on Whipsnakes and only fell to the championship contender 9-8.

“You see a group that believes in themselves,” Towers said on the ESPN broadcast at halftime. “A lot of people had a tough time getting behind us today, but we have 25 guys that believe 100 percent that this is going to be our game.”

Wasserman secured his first PLL point on that goal, sending a cross-crease pass to Voigt right on the doorstep. He’s now running out of the box, equipped with a new mindset molded by his time away from the game.

“I just try to take advantage of every day and every rep,” Wasserman said. “Every game I’m lucky enough to get is a blessing on top of what I thought I was going to get, which is zero games.”

Wasserman was crossing his fingers when he saw the Bandits advance past the Toronto Rock in the East Finals. Then, his career received a jolt on the same day he hit a major life milestone.

“It was actually my law school graduation day,” Wasserman said. “I literally walked across the stage, put my cap and gown on, got home and was getting ready to meet my parents for a celebratory dinner and Towers called.”

He still went to that dinner, but 48 hours later, he was packed and ready to head out to training camp.

The Bandits players will return soon enough. Buffalo won the first game of its best-of-three championship series with the Colorado Mammoth last week and could finish the job in Denver on Saturday. At the latest, they’ll be back in the fold in two weeks.

The first of the replacement crew returned to the player pool this week when the additions of Wes Berg and Austin Staats pushed Voigt to the wrong side of the bubble. There’s an understanding that for many on this Chaos roster, their days are numbered.

Wasserman will get at least one more shake at it this weekend in Charlotte.

“One day it’s going to be over, whether it’s when the Bandits players come back or at the end of the summer,” Wasserman said. “You never know, but you’ve got to give everything you’ve got because that day is coming.”


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