May 17, 2011
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin men's hockey head coach Mike Eaves announced the signing of four student-athletes to national letters of intent during the spring signing period. The signees include forwards Joseph LaBate (Eagan, Minn.) and Brad Navin (Waupaca, Wis.) as well as defensemen Patrick Daly (Victoria, Minn.) and Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wis.). All will join the Badgers for the fall of 2011.
Daly, a 6-0 and 180-pound defenseman, will join the Badgers from Benilde-St. Margaret's High School in Richfield, Minn. The Victoria, Minn., native was a finalist for the 2011 Minnesota Mr. Hockey award following his 40-point and plus-52 season that included 27 games on the blue line. A team co-captain as a senior, the left-handed shot posted 12 points in 10 games during an injury-shortened junior campaign. An all-conference selection as a sophomore in 2008-09, he has also skated two seasons in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League.
In addition to his hockey exploits, Daly spent his sophomore and junior seasons as the starting centerfielder for the back-to-back conference champion Benilde-St. Margaret's varsity baseball team. As a junior, he was an honorable mention all-conference pick, playing all season without and error and leading the squad in runs and stolen bases.
In the classroom, Daly is an honor roll student and two-time Red Knight Scholar-Athlete Award winner.
Eaves on Daly: "Patrick Daly 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."
LaBate, a 6-4 and 195-pound forward, comes to Wisconsin after spending this past high school season with the Academy of Holy Angels. The Eagan, Minn., native, a top-10 finalist for the 2011 Minnesota Mr. Hockey award, ranked No. 51 in the final 2011 NHL Central Scouting Service North American Rankings and projects to a second or third-round draft pick in the upcoming June draft.
The left-handed shot posted 27 goals and 49 points in 25 games played during his recently completed senior season. He collected 29 goals and 58 points in 25 games as a junior.
Eaves on LaBate: "Joseph Labate is a 6-4 forward. Center ice is what he's played most of the time in high school. For a big man, he moves very well. He has good sense of the puck and has good puck skills. I think once he catches up to the speed of this level, he'll be a very fine player."
McCabe, a 6-0 and 190-pound defenseman, skates for the U.S. National Team Development Program's Under-18 Team. A recent gold-medalist with Team USA at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 World Championships, he hails from Eau Claire, Wis. A left-handed shot, McCabe will be NHL draft eligible after his freshman season.
He has four goals and 15 points in 38 games to rank second on the U.S. NTDP U18 team and was named the USHL Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 22. In 52 games with the U.S. NTDP U17 team in 2009-10, McCabe recorded eight assists. He also collected one assist in one game with the U18 team in 2009-10. During that season, he played for the U.S. team at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge that took home the title.
Prior to his time in Ann Arbor, Mich., McCabe spent his freshman season playing for Eau Claire Memorial High School and posted 22 points in 23 games. He also skated in 22 games for Team Wisconsin. That same year, he was part of the U.S. Under-17 Select Team that took part in the 2009 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament in Fussen, Germany.
Jake is the son of former NCAA Division I ice hockey student-athlete Dave McCabe, who played for the CCHA's Alaska Nanooks.
Eaves on McCabe: "Jake McCabe is a young man from Eau Claire who is a well-rounded defenseman. He is very solid in his defensive game, but can see the game open up offensively. He'll be an all-round defenseman for us."
Navin, a 6-2 and 195-pound forward, will arrive in Madison after his Waupaca High School career ends this spring. Ranked 163rd in NHL Central Scouting's Final North American Rankings, Navin led all Wisconsin high school skaters in scoring as a junior with 53 goals and 92 points in 25 games played and posted 29 goals and 52 points in 14 games as a senior before an injury derailed hopes for a repeat scoring title. Navin still earned Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association First-Team All-State honors for the second consecutive year. In addition to his time playing for Waupaca High School, Navin boasts time playing for Team Wisconsin.
A left-handed shot, the Waupaca, Wis., native hails from the same hometown as 2010-11 Badger senior defenseman Craig Johnson.
Eaves on Navin: "Brad Navin is a prototypical power forward. He's 6-2 and skates really well for a big man. He also shoots the puck a ton. He likes to go into the corner and get to hard areas, so he'll bring that type of game to our lineup."
The quartet joins four student-athletes who signed during the early signing period in November. The four previous signees include forwards Tyler Lapic (New Prague, Minn.), Matt Paape (Appleton, Wis.) and Brendan Woods (Palmyra, Pa.) and goaltender Joel Rumpel (Swift Current Saskatchewan).
||Benilde-St. Margaret's H.S.
||Academy of Holy Angels (H.S.)
||Eau Claire, Wis.
||U.S. NTDP (USHL)
||Waupaca High School
||New Prague, Minn.
||Sioux City (USHL)
||Swift Current, Saskatchewan