Wisconsin on Tuesday announced the signing of four players for the 2011-12 season, including two from Minnesota.
Joe LaBate, Holy Angels, 6-4, 195-pound forward: LaBate, of Eagan, was a top-10 finalist for Mr. Hockey as a senior and is ranked No. 51 by the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau among North American prospects for the NHL draft next month at the Xcel.
LaBate, who shoots left-handed, had 27 goals and 49 points in 25 games as a senior, so he averaged nearly two points per game. That's actually a slight drop from his junior stats when he had 29 goals and 58 points in 25 games.
"Center ice is what he's played most of the time in high school," Badgers coach Mike Eaves said. "For a big man, he moved very well, He has good sense of the puck and has good puck skills. Once he catches up to the speed of this level, he'll be a very fine player."
Pat Daly, Benilde-St. Margaret's, 6-0, 180 defenseman: Daly, of Victoria, was another Mr. Hockey finalist. He had 40 points and was a plus-52 player in 27 games for the Red Knights.
Said Eaves about Daly: "[He] is a fine skating defenseman. He has the ability to jump up into the play. He makes good first passes and will be competitive playing the game."
Jake McCabe, under-18 U.S. nat'l team, 6-0, 190 defenseman: He is from Eau Claire, Wis. He had four goals and 18 points in 38 games. Played on team hich won gold medal in 2011 IIHF under-18 World Championships. His father Dave played for Alaska Fairbanks.
Brad Navin, Waupaca, WIs., 6-2, 195 forward: He was the top scorer in Wisconsin high school hockey as a junior with 53 goals and 92 points in 25 games -- almost four points per game -- and was on a similar pace as a senior until a season-ending injury. He had 29 goals and 52 points in 14 games this past season.
Wisconsin also signed four players, one from Minnesota, in the early signing period in November. That list:
Tyler Lapic, New Prague, 6-2, 195, forward ... played for Chicago of USHL in 2010-11
Matt Paape, Appleton, Wis., 5-10, 185, forward ... Sioux City, USHL
Joel Rumpel, Swift Current, Saskatchewan, 6-3, 175, goalie ... Penticton, BCHL
Brendan Woods, Palmyra, Pa., 6-3, 192, forward ... Muskegon, USHL