Joey LaLeggia finished with 38 points in 43 games this past season for the Denver Pioneers, and now the defenseman is headed to the NHL. LaLeggia was selected with the second pick in the fifth round by Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Before coming to the Pioneers, LaLeggia spent three seasons playing for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. In 2010-2011, LaLeggia totaled 20 goals and 62 assists in 58 games for the Vees. The previous season, he finished with 65 points in 54 games with 13 goals.
LaLeggia will be undersized in the NHL at just 5-foot-10, 180 lbs.
Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus ranked Laleggia the No. 89 prospect in the draft and described the defense like this:
He’s a good skater with a great offensive mind who would be a nice shot in the dark pick in the mid-rounds due to his notable offensive upside. He flashes high-end hockey sense with his quick game processing and he’s really effective moving the puck out of his own end and controlling the blue line on the power play. Laleggia has solid puck skills as well, at times showing above average, but he is a much better passer than he is an individual creator. He skates well, moving fluidly in all four directions. His main weakness is his physical game, which is below replacement level.