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LaBate commits to Wisconsin

By Loren Nelson, Editor, 03/06/11, 6:33PM CST


Badgers land coveted Holy Angels senior forward, likely NHL draft pick

Holy Angels senior forward Joseph LaBate will play for the University of Wisconsin next season. Photo by Helen Nelson

Joseph LaBate

Holy Angels plays a nonconference schedule that includes many of the state’s elite programs.

Edina, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Minnetonka, Burnsville, Eden Prairie ... the list of the Stars’ opponents this season was a veritable Who’s Who of Minnesota hockey powerhouses.

Take a look at Joseph LaBate’s statistics, and it didn’t seem to matter who the Stars were playing. He failed to score a point just three times in 26 games.

"If you make a mistake in a high school game, usually the kid is not going to score," Minnetonka coach Brian Urick said. "Every time you made a mistake on LaBate, it ended up in the back of the net. You can’t really teach that -- he senses the game so well."

LaBate's consistency was sure to catch the eye of a college coaches and pro scouts.

So, too, was his 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame.

And his above-average speed.

And his soft hands.

“I told him after we played them that was the best forward I had seen all year,” Benilde-St. Margaret’s coach Ken Pauly said about LaBate, a Mr. Hockey finalist who on Sunday, March 4, verbally committed to play at the University of Wisconsin next season.

LaBate, who scored 29 goals and added 23 assist for the Stars, is projected to go in the early rounds of this year’s NHL Draft.

He turned down scholarship offers from Nebraska-Omaha, Maine, RPI, Bemidji State and Minnesota State. Upon returning from his visit to Madison on Sunday, he called off scheduled visits to North Dakota and Minnesota.

“I just loved it there,” LaBate said about his trip to Madison, where one of his tour guides was Badgers freshman defenseman Joe Faust, a former Bloomington Jefferson standout. “I had a really good feeling.”

LaBate said the visit included a stop at Camp Randall Stadium.

“We went to their football field, and I guess every four years or so they play a (hockey) game there,” he said. “That would be awesome.”

LaBate is receiving a full scholarship and will go straight to Madison next fall, skipping the usual year or two of seasoning at the junior level.

Although coveted by most every major Division I program in the country, LaBate said he wanted to take his time with the decision.

“A lot of kids rush into the decision and it doesn’t work out for them,” he said. “I never really planned on making a decision this late. The stars aligned and it worked out.”

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2010-11 Minnesota High School Division I Recruits

Name High School Year Pos. College Verbal Commit
Josh Archibald Brainerd Senior F Nebraska-Omaha Yes
Tim Bonner Osseo Senior F Yale Yes
Jonny Brodzinski Blaine Senior F St. Cloud State Yes
Ryan Bullock Blake Senior D Dartmouth Yes
Tony Cameranesi Wayzata Senior F Minnesota-Duluth Yes
Patrick Daly Benilde-St. Margaret's Senior D Wisconsin Yes
Max Everson Edina Senior D Harvard Yes
Steven Fogarty Edina Senior F Notre Dame Yes
Tyler Heinonen Delano Senior F Michigan Tech Yes
Garrett Hendrickson Virginia Senior F St. Cloud State Yes
Adam Johnson Hibbing Sophomore F Minnesota-Duluth Yes
Bob Kinne Cretin-Derham Hall Senior F Bemidji State Yes
Joseph LaBate Holy Angels Senior F Wisconsin Yes
Ross Luedtke Orono Senior F Air Force Academy Yes
Alex Lyon Lake of the Woods Senior G Yale Yes
Justin Kloos Lakeville South Junior F Minnesota Yes
A.J. Michaelson Apple Valley Junior F Minnesota Yes
Bill Norman Rochester Mayo Senior D Maine Yes
Kyle Rau Eden Prairie Senior F Minnesota Yes
Brady Riesgraf Holy Family Catholic Senior D Bemidji State Yes
Zach Schroeder St. Thomas Academy Senior F RPI Yes
Kevin Schulze Hill-Murray Senior D Wisconsin Yes
Nick Seeler Eden Prairie Senior D Nebraska-Omaha Yes
Michael Sit Edina Senior F Boston College Yes
Garrett Skrbich Hermantown Senior F Princeton Yes
Eddie Wittchow Burnsville Senior D Wisconsin Yes