The 2011 National Hockey League Draft came and went this past weekend and one current and three future Badgers heard their name called by NHL clubs at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Incoming freshmen Joseph LaBate (Academy of Holy Angels), Brad Navin (Waupaca HS), Patrick Daly (Benilde-St. Margarets) and current UW forward Michael Mersch joined the fraternity of Badger players to be selected in the NHL Draft.
LaBate was the first of the Badgers to go as he went off the board in the 4th round (#101) to the Vancouver Canucks. Ranked among the top 60 skaters by almost all scouting publications, Vancouver unquestionably is happy to get him in the fourth. Just nine picks later the L.A. Kings used their fourth round pick (#110) to select Mersch.
Rounding out the weekend for players with Badger ties were Daly who was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the 7th round (#189) and Navin who was taken by the Buffalo Sabres also in the 7th round (#197).
More on the Badgers who were selected with video interviews with a few of the players after the jump.
Joseph LaBate-Academy of Holy Angels-Center
Michael Mersch-Wisconsin-Left Wing
Brad Navin-Waupaca High School-Center
Patrick Daly-Benilde St. Margarets-Defense