One current and three incoming Badgers were selected in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Joseph LaBate went highest, selected 101st to the Stanley Cup runner-up Vancouver Canucks. The fourth-round pick arrives this fall in Madison from the Academy of Holy Angels in Minnesota. The 6’4 forward was one of 10 finalists for the 2011 Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award after scoring 27 goals and 49 points in 25 games last season.
Just nine picks later, sophomore forward Michael Mersch went 110th to the Los Angeles Kings. Mersch scored eight goals and 19 points in 41 games at Wisconsin last season.
Defenseman Patrick Daly and forward Brad Navin went 189th to the New Jersey Devils and 197th to the Buffalo Sabres, respectively.
Daly is another 2011 Minnesota Mr. Hockey finalist. He played high school hockey in Richfield, Minnesota this past season, collecting 40 points and going plus-52 in 27 games as a team co-captain.
Navin, a Waupaca, WI native, led all juniors in Wisconsin in scoring with 53 goals and 92 points in 25 games played, then followed that up with 29 goals and 52 points in an injury-shortened 14-game senior season.