#15 PROSPECT (winter 2012): JOEY LALEGGIA

He’s a 5.09, 180 sophomore from Burnaby, and Joey Laleggia has all of his cannons pointed in one direction. Laleggia is an undersized offensive defender with miles of skill.

Old timey Oiler fans well remember the names–from HOF quality like Paul Coffey to exceptional talents like Reijo Ruotsalainen, to guys who carved out NHL careers like Marc-Andre Bergeron–the offensive defenseman (so-called “chaos D” around these parts) have certainly had their place with the Oilers during high times.

One of the interesting human interest sidelights to the Laleggia story is his friendship with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins:

  • We’re from the same home town and we played together at the Burnaby Winter Club since we were six years old. He’s one of my best friends and he’s pretty happy that I’m here as well. He was the second phone call I got after I got drafted by the Oilers. We were both pretty excited about it.”

Summer 2012: #20

Winter 2012: #15

Pre-Draft

  • Corey Pronman: Laleggia 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.
12-13
Laleggia has started strong this season and progressed a little in points per game and plent in shots on goal:
  • 2011-12: 43, 11-27-38, 78 shots in 43 games (1.81 shots per game)
  • 2012-13: 14, 6-8-114, 40 shots in 14 games (2.86 shots per game)
We have to remember this is an offense first option, an MA Bergeron for the new Boys on the Bus. It doesn’t mean he can’t be effective, but it does mean 3rd pairing at evens (likely) and possibly some Greg Hawgood moments (playing up front sometimes).

#15 ranked prospects on December lists:

  • December 2004: R Troy Bodie
  • December 2005: R Colin McDonald
  • December 2006: D Jeff Petry
  • December 2007: R Colin McDonald
  • December 2008: G Devan Dubnyk
  • December 2009: D Alex Plante
  • December 2010: G Olivier Roy
  • December 2011: D Brandon Davidson
  • December 2012: D Joey Laleggia
Laleggia moves up the rankings because the things he does well contribute to offense. The chances of Laleggia having even an Marc-Andre Bergeron career are not strong, but he most certainly has the tools to help the powerplay offense.
He is not a multi-dimensional player, but scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in hockey. Laleggia’s skill in this area should get him at least 500 at-bats in the NHL down the line. His offense is intriguing to say the least.

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23 Responses to "#15 PROSPECT (winter 2012): JOEY LALEGGIA"

  1. dessert1111 says:

    My God, if he has 114 points in only 14 games, the Oilers should call him up as soon as the lockout ends!! ;)

    Do you really think he is a virtual lock for 500 NHL games? If so, why only ranked at 15? I’ve always felt that he was a long-shot to make it but will get opportunities as long as he keeps up that PPG pace. If he gets a few NHL games and can’t handle the game at that level though, I have a hard time seeing him getting opportunity after opportunity. Even a 3rd overall pick needs to be sent down at some point if he shows ineptitude (i.e. Cam Barker).

  2. blackgold says:

    dessert1111,

    I think 500 at bats is more like 500 shifts.

    Who was it that brought this kid up before the draft? Traktor maybe? Anyways good call. I hope they pair him with Bigos in the A to see what they can do together.

  3. nelson88 says:

    Hadn’t seen the press release so surprised Rajala played last night in Stockton. Goal and another 6 shots. Wonder if he was sent down long term or just to get a mid week game in?

  4. nelson88 says:

    I didn’t get around to posting on the old Reider thread but I still think this guy will turn out to be an NHL player with 2nd line upside. w/r/t the size concerns. I also take the CHL listed numbers with a grain of salt but a year or so ago I posted that if you look at the IIHF heights and weights Reiders draft +1 dimensions are almost identical to Eberle’s at the same age for the WJ. Don’t see that the IIHF would have any motivation to fudge the numbers.

    Interested to see how he performs in the top tier of tournament of small sample sizes.

  5. regwald says:

    The numbers for players height and weight I don’t think are always accurate. Question in point. Eberle is listed at 5′ 11″ and 184 lbs on the Barons site. A couple years ago, at an Oilers meet and greet I had my picture taken with him. I was wearing runner, he had dress shoes on. I am 5′ 9 1/2″ tall … and I was taller than Eberle was by about at least an inch. Eberle is no more 5′ 11″ than I am the 5′ 10″ I always say when asked.

  6. jp says:

    dessert1111,

    500 at-bats is ~ a full season, as 500 AB is in MLB.

    Agreed he’ll get at least some shot at the NHL if he can keep this offense up. So small though. Was size this much of a problem for Bergeron? IIRC Bergeron did OK physically against QMJHL guys, but there was (correct) concern about whether he could keep it up against stronger NHLers. By the sounds of it Laleggia is pretty much completely unable to physically compete even against college guys. He may be even behind Bergeron in this regard…

  7. Matt.N says:

    I posted this in the last Joey Legs thread.

    Comparing Legs to some undersized college defensemen.
    Joey Laleggia
    Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
    2011-12 U. of Denver WCHA 43 11 27 38 35 (19 year old season)
    2012-13 U. of Denver WCHA 14 6 8 14 4 (20 year old season)
    Justin Shultz
    Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
    2009-10 U. of Wisconsin WCHA 43 6 16 22 12 (19 year old season)
    2010-11 U. of Wisconsin WCHA 41 18 29 47 28 (20 year old season)
    2011-12 U. of Wisconsin WCHA 37 16 28 44 12 (21 year old season)
    2012-13 Oklahoma City Barons AHL 7 6 6 12 6 (22 year old season)
    Brain Rafalski
    Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
    1991-92 U. of Wisconsin WCHA 38 3 16 19 40 (18 year old season)
    1992-93 U. of Wisconsin WCHA 32 0 13 13 10 (19 year old season)
    1993-94 U. of Wisconsin WCHA 37 6 17 23 26 (20 year old season)
    1994-95 U. of Wisconsin WCHA 43 11 34 45 48 (21 year old season)
    1995-96 Brynas IF Gavle SEL 22 1 8 9 14 (22 year old season)
    1996-97 HPK Hameenlinna SM-li 49 11 24 35 26 (23 year old season)
    John-Michael Liles
    Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
    1999-00 Michigan State University CCHA 40 8 20 28 26 (19 year old season)
    2000-01 Michigan State University CCHA 42 7 18 25 28 (20 year old season)
    2001-02 Michigan State University CCHA 41 13 22 35 18 (21 year old season)
    2002-03 Michigan State University CCHA 39 16 34 50 46 (22 year old season)
    Dan Boyle
    Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
    1995-96 Miami University (Ohio) CCHA 36 7 20 27 70 (19 year old season)
    1996-97 Miami University (Ohio) CCHA 40 11 43 54 52 (20 year old season)
    1997-98 Miami University (Ohio) CCHA 37 14 26 40 58 (21 year old season)

  8. Truth says:

    Laleggia seems like he would be similar to Jared Spurgeon of the Minnesota Wild. Little guy that struggles defensively and utilized on the PP. Spurgeon does OK in Minnesota without the big guns up front, if Laleggia turned out to be similar it would be a success.

    In unrelated news, Yakupov kicked out of todays game early with an elbowing major. I’m just going off the box score so I don’t know the circumstances.

  9. LMHF#1 says:

    That professional coaches still can’t figure out how to properly use these tremendously skilled hockey players, much like NFL coaches have no idea how to use some of the best college QBs of all-time, is both befuddling and a rather sad commentary on their ability to assess and use a weapon. These guys instead must fight an illogical uphill battle against antiquated coaching and a fanbase that largely doesn’t understand what an offensively skilled defenceman can do.

    It’d be like a General passing on bombs because he’s got missiles and guns.

  10. voxwah says:

    Hey LT, where do you figure Joey Laleggia’s draft number would have been if he was say 6’0 195lbs instead?

  11. Truth says:

    regwald:
    The numbers for players height and weight I don’t think are always accurate. Question in point. Eberle is listed at 5′ 11″ and 184 lbs on the Barons site. A couple years ago, at an Oilers meet and greet I had my picture taken with him. I was wearing runner, he had dress shoes on. I am 5′ 9 1/2″ tall … and I was taller than Eberle was by about at least an inch. Eberle is no more 5′ 11″ than I am the 5′ 10″ I always say when asked.

    Back when I played competitively (way back) I was listed as 6′ in the program. I’m actually a hair over 5’10″. I was also considerably lighter than they put me at. You just can’t trust team information about their own players. It does work well for comparisons sake though, all teams are embellishing players so it actually does even out.

  12. regwald says:

    Truth,

    Agreed. Standard embellishing. It’s just when Joe fan says Eberle is almost 6′ … it’s so not true.

  13. Adam Dyck says:

    My impression re: 500 at bats is that it isn’t any particular number of games or shifts, but a reference to “getting a real shot”. In baseball, as LT likes to reference, it generally takes 500 at bats to get a real sense of where a player will hit down the line. In hockey, there are various opinions of what it takes but we all know it takes a while.

  14. fuzzy muppet says:

    Off topic, but does anyone know what is going on with TAYLOR HALL?

    Three straight missed practices.

    Should I be worried?

  15. regwald says:

    Found this nice quote about the 500 at bats …

    “During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at-bats a season. That means I played 7 years without ever hitting the ball.” – Mickey Mantle

    So, basically the equivalent of a full season of at bats in the major leagues.

  16. voxwah says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    Fuzzy: I think he and Ebs had some promotional commitments they had to do this week.

  17. Gerta Rauss says:

    From the Oilers website “the Team Today” posted Tuesday

    There was again a shuffling of lines, notable the absences of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall. Hall missed his second straight practice with a neck ailment.

    “Getting some work done on his neck. Nothing serious, just want to make sure that he’s feeling 100% as well. We expect him back,” Barons head coach Todd Nelson said after practice yesterday.

    Jordan Eberle was in Regina where his jersey will be retired at Wednesday night’s Pats game.

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins remained in Edmonton.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=647033&navid=DL|EDM|home

  18. rickithebear says:

    Interesting read:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/81749/dus-laleggia-succeeding-despite-smaller-stature/

    Dang it Matt i look post lockout 20 and under .75PPG

    20 year old
    1.24ppg B. Smith 09-10 6’1″ 205lb (07 RD1 #27)
    1.15ppg J. Schultz 10-11 6’2″ 185lb (08 RD2 #43)
    1.00ppg J. Gardiner 10-11 6’2″ 195lb (08 RD1 #17)
    1.00ppg J. laleggia 12-13 5’9″ 180lb (12 RD5 #123)
    0.95ppg N. Schmidt 11-12 6’0″ 195lb (UFA)
    0.89ppg T. Krug 11-12 5’9″ 175lb (UFA BOS)
    0.83ppg C. Cohen 09-10 6’2″ 215lb (07 RD2 #45)
    0.77ppg K. Shattenkirk 09-10 5’11″ (07 rd1 #17)
    0.75ppg A. Martinez 6’0″ 215lb (07 RD4 #95)

    19 year old
    1.08ppg J. Johnson 06-07 6’1″ 230lb (05 RD1 #3)
    0.89 J. Laleggia 11-12
    0.89 Clandenning 11-12 6’0″ 195lb (11 RD2 #36)
    0.89 Doumolin 10-11 6’4″ 210lb (09 RD2 #51)
    0.80 R. Russo 12-13 6’0″ 185lb (12 Rd4 #95)

    Based on a denver program that idetifies weakness and is developing it.
    190lb seams to be the weight barrier for the ability to defend.

  19. dessert1111 says:

    Lots of interpretations of what 500 at-bats means. LT is a poet!

    I should’ve figured out the analogy though, especially since I played ball until I was 19. My bad, thanks for the corrections.

  20. raventalon40 says:

    regwald:
    The numbers for players height and weight I don’t think are always accurate. Question in point. Eberle is listed at 5′ 11″ and 184 lbs on the Barons site. A couple years ago, at an Oilers meet and greet I had my picture taken with him. I was wearing runner, he had dress shoes on. I am 5′ 9 1/2″ tall … and I was taller than Eberle was by about at least an inch. Eberle is no more 5′ 11″ than I am the 5′ 10″ I always say when asked.

    Sounds about right. I’m just a shade taller than 5’8″ and once I took a photo with Eberle and Plante at the U of A Golden Bears vs Oilers Rookies game, and Eberle was maybe half an inch or a little more than that taller than me.

  21. Gerta Rauss says:

    Gregor has a medical update for both RNH and Hall over at ON.

  22. Bruce McCurdy says:

    voxwah:
    Hey LT, where do you figure Joey Laleggia’s draft number would have been if he was say 6’0 195lbs instead?

    “2010″

  23. jp says:

    Bruce McCurdy: “2010″

    Hehe, for sure!

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