Minnesota forward Joseph LaBate is headed to the University of Wisconsin after being one of the state's top high school performers over the past several years. Like Mario Lucia, the widely recognized top prospect from Minnesota in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, LaBate is raw but has very intriguing potential.
The Holy Academy of Angels center is about 6-4 but only weighs in around 180 pounds- right now, he's only scratching the surface of what he could be when he adds the expected muscle mass and strength.
LaBate has a heavy shot and is a dangerous goal scorer. Although he's a long-term project player at present, there is a real potential payoff with him if he continues to move up the ladder of progression. Don't be surprised if a team jumps on him in the late second-round. Anywhere in the third or later brings solid value for the incoming Badger.
Here's a quick hitter on him from the combine: