Saturday, May 28, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Joseph LaBate #57

By Eldon MacDonald

57. Joseph LaBate - “Mr. Badger” - C - USA

Vitals: Size - 6’4”, 180 lb.; shoots left; born 6-Apr-93 - Burnsville MN
Team: Holy Angels, HS MN
2010-11 Stats: 25-27-22-49-42-(+27)

42 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
55 - The Scouting Report's Top 100
55 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
57 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
64 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (51st North American skater)
73 - ISS per TSN
74 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
HM - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts (HM’s = 61 to 85)
Draft result:
101 - Vancouver Canucks

OK, big, real big, now look up at 6’4, a centerman to boot. Like him so far!!! And hard skills too, an RPG (that’s rocket propelled grenade for those of us without two tours in Afghanistan) for a shot, the soft hands that you sometimes wish your doctor had, the nice top speed of an SUV that isn’t worried about stopping anytime soon. He can also bring the physicality to his work that you want from a big guy but his lack of strength keeps that part of his game from being overpowering to date. Joseph will be attending The University of Wisconsin next year so he still has plenty of time to perfect that part of his game. He will also need to work on his acceleration but that may come naturally as he adds to his lower body strength. Central Scouting's Jack Barzee gave him rather high praise at, He has unbelievable skill, is a great skater and possesses really good hands. He can shoot the puck and is very unselfish."

So how much do you want to pay for a very tall centerman with skills and physicality - when you think about it that way, the sky is the limit. However, the high risk factor related to a US high schooler may keep him to second round. Brock Nelson, a center with similar size, similar background but slightly more skills went last year at thirty to give you an idea.


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