A LITTLE MORE ON LALEGGIA

Day 2 of the NHL entry draft this year was unusual in many ways. The Oilers drafted overagers in rounds 4, 5 and 6.

I like to highlight some of the depth picks after the draft because its kind of a blur over draft weekend and there simply isn’t a lot of information available on these guys. As time passes, google searches give us more and it is nice for future reference to stockpile the info in one spot.

DRAFT DAY COMMENTS

  • Stu MacGregor: Joey Laleggia is not a big guy, but he skates well, moves the puck intelligently. Quick-pass guy. He gets the puck up ice. Real good hockey sense.”
  • Corey PronmanLaleggia enters his third draft-eligible season after a very successful first WCHA season where he was named the conference’s Rookie of the Year. 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. I’ve seen him listed at 5’10″, which is generous in my opinion as he looks pretty small on the ice, and he is not effective at all when he’s engaging. Despite his hockey smarts, I don’t see him as being effective defensively to any notable degree at the pro level.
  • Jonathan Willis:“This is another nice late-round pick. Because Laleggia is a college player, he’ll have more time to fill out and develop his game than a drafted defenseman typically does. This is a long-term pick, a player that might significantly outperform his draft number down the line. It’s a very similar selection to the Zharkov pick in that he’s a boom-or-bust guy who if he does turn out can turn out in a big way. Realistically, a Marc-Andre Bergeron-type career would be a very good return on this pick.”
  • ISS: Lots of heart, Undersized D but effective. Good Skater with Mobility, shows offensive flare. Excellent on PP, patient and poised on the point.

After the draft, we found out a little about his time before college and that he grew up with Burnaby Ryan.

Math tells us he’s too small in one column and says ‘sacrebleu’ in the offensive column. His offensive numbers at Denver (43, 11-27-38) were exceptional, but his size (5.10, 180) is on the wrong side of Taylor Chorney. You don’t get 6.05 defenders with this skill in the 5th round, and Lalaggia turned 20 at the draft so he wasn’t exactly at the top of his class as a 17 or 18-year old. It also took a weak draft and 122 spent bullets for him to land.

Having said that, there are things to like about him. Willis does a nice job of identifying his outer marker and now we wait for him to show what he can in his sophomore college season. Pronman does a nice job warning us about his physical size, but also gushes (gushes!) about Laleggia with the puck and placed him inside his top 100–an exceptional accomplishment for an overager in any draft year.

I also think we should watch the Oilers in later rounds next season, as they seem to be drafting overagers in that zone.

  • Erik Gustafsson, born March 14, 1992 and was selected at age 20 years, 3 months.
  • Joey Lalaggia, born June 24, 1992 and was selected at exactly 20 years old.
  • John McCarron, born April 16, 1992 and was selected at age 20 years, 2 months.

During the Stu MacGregor regime, the only other players who were 20 on their draft day were Kyle Bigos (2009) and Jordan Bendfeld (2008).  It might be a case of those three players being the best available, but we have seen teams–Vancouver specifically–draft older players in the recent past.

Something to follow for next season.

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18 Responses to "A LITTLE MORE ON LALEGGIA"

  1. speeds says:

    Best available means different things to different people, but I have a hard time believing you’d have McCarron rated ahead of Slepyshev http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1317, who’s played both games against CAN but I didn’t see either. How’d he look, for a guy that passed through the draft?

  2. Lowetide says:

    speeds: I taped both games and will have a look. I spoke to Guy Flaming last week and he had a similar take, suggesting that Oil Kings defender Ashton Sautner (sp?) was a much better prospect. Slepyshev was passed over due to the following: Novokuznetsk-KHL

  3. Dave Casselman says:

    If I’m Uncle Steve, I surely do give consideration to drafting Anton the Slepyshev next year in later rounds. Just because he’s currently a KHL guy doesn’t mean he always will be.

  4. FrankenOil says:

    I would add Tuohimaa to the list of overagers drafted by Stu as he was a 20 yr old I do believe.

  5. jp says:

    The thing that stuck with me about Laleggia from the scouting reports was the Pronman assessment:

    “Despite his hockey smarts, I don’t see him as being effective defensively to any notable degree at the pro level.”

    The reports and boxcars are pretty clear that he has exceptional offensive abilities, but if he’s not going to be able to hold his own at his position he’s not much use to anyone. Hopefully he can find a way to develop into competent defender, but it’s tough to do when the main issue is a lack of size and strength. Here’s hoping…

    Regarding Slepyshev, yeah it is pretty tough to believe he dropped THAT far. He wasn’t at the combine, so he didn’t make a terrible impression on everyone there… LT must be right – the guy was drafted 1st overall in the KHL draft in 2011. Yak was taken 19th the year before following a 100 pt OHL season. Presumably they’re picking guys they think are going to stick around.

  6. Lowetide says:

    JP: I think a scouting report on M-A Bergeron coming out of junior would have been similar.

  7. jp says:

    Lowetide,

    That’s certainly a fair comparable, and obviously if Laleggia ever makes it to the NHL he’s covered his draft bet. It’s still a bit disheartening when a prospect has such a clearly identifiable weakness that’s basically impossible to correct. My impression too, is that Bergeron was stockier than Laleggia is. At least when he broke in with the Oilers at age 22 Bergeron was more like 195 lbs, and also played with a physical edge. I’ve never seen Laleggia play, but it sounds like he’s even smaller than Bergeron (listed around 180 lbs, and not so young you’d expect much more growth) and also lacks the physical edge that Bergeron had (I know that PIMs aren’t a perfect measure of this, but Bergeron had 173 and 185 PIM in his last 2 years of Jr, while Laleggia has had less than a PIM/GP both years in the BCJHL, and in college – I think there’s a real difference there). Basically, there’s reason to think that Laleggia might be even less prepared to defend against NHL forwards than Bergeron was/is.

    I’m not trying to be negative about the player, and I have absolutely no problem with using that draft pick on him, but it’s not overly inspiring when the “best case” is MA Bergeron. I guess may be I’m also being too hard on Bergeron – he’s been a decent NHLer, and he’s already earned himself an NHL pension. If Laleggia has a career like that then for sure we’d have to be extremely happy with the pick. If nothing else, he’ll be fun to follow, and may be his worst case is an offensive guy in the AHL.

  8. Lowetide says:

    JP: No doubt he’s a long shot. As for Bergeron, his 185pims in his final Q season ranked around #50 in that category. It was an especially devilish time. On the other hand, Laleggia’s league and era don’t really match up with the Q of the Bergeron era.

    As a for instance, Laleggia’s team took 639pims in 43gp or about 15pims a game. Bergeron’s team in 00-01 took 2614pims in 72gp, or 36pims per game. The leader in pims that season–Rimouski–had 3,091 minutes in pims.

    Bergeron didn’t have a ton of pims in the NHL, which makes sense. He wasn’t going to win many physical battles.

  9. Wolfie says:

    I don’t know if anyone has picked up THN’s Ultimate Fantasy Pool Guide. But they have Dubnyk with 27 wins and Khabby with 19 wins. I’m not sure how they come up with their numbers but if it’s in there it must be true right?!?

  10. VOR says:

    Is there some reason I am missing for us not using Brian Rafalski as the Laleggia comparable?Same size, gifted passer, good skater, thought the game well, could run your power play, and got pushed off the puck frequently. He learned to compensate with great postioning and tremendous compete level. Laleggia is tracking far ahead but Rafalski was a notorious late bloomer.

  11. Lowetide says:

    VOR: I think you nailed it. Rafalski isn’t a good comp because he’s an outlier. It’s like comparing someone who has poor control at 22 to Sandy Koufax. The problem is there’s only been one guy who turned into Sandy Koufax.

  12. Woodguy says:

    VOR,

    Probably because this guy turning into Rafalski is more an answer to a prayer than a comparable.

    Joey Leggs actually posted a nicer number than Rafalski did in his 19 year old year in the WCHA, but remember that Rafalski was 26 before he ever played in the NHL.

    He might be a player, but we are probably a few years from finding out.

  13. Woodguy says:

    And LT beat me to it and said it much better.

  14. Woodguy says:

    VOR,

    Rafalski was a notorious late bloomer.

    Missed that when I read it the first time.

    Makes this statement “but remember that Rafalski was 26 before he ever played in the NHL” a moo point.

    Its like a cow’s opinion, it doesn’t matter.

  15. Jesse says:

    OT, but I was scanning through Vollman’s usage charts and noticed that Ed Jovanovski Is playing some very sheltered minutes and is something of a black hole Corsi wise.

  16. Jesse says:

    Maybe that’s not breaking news, but I was a little surprised.

  17. Lowetide says:

    my daughter loved that clip when she was a kid. A moo point. :-)

  18. VOR says:

    If you don’t like Rafalski how about a similar player who is currently playing regularly in the NHL, Alex Gogiloski? Same size, same scouting report, though Laleggia seems to have a bit more offense.

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