Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his rankings of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects of 2016. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held at First Niagara Center here in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
#28. Pascal Laberge – C, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |
A standout performer with two goals and one assist at the CHL Top Prospects Game, Laberge emerged as a strong skating, playmaking threat in 2015-16, two years removed from being the second overall selection in the 2014 QMJHL draft.
Laberge is a rather shifty offensive force with quick hands and a deadly release of the puck. He can slow the game down and quickly hit a different gear to make a powerful move to the front of the net.
He’s deceptive with the puck as well, altering his body to crate different shooting and passing options to make the most of his opportunities when touching the puck in the offensive zone. Scouts would like to see his mindset eventually shift away from being a pass-first creator, but the unselfishness is a positive quality regardless.
With the offense coming along to the tune of 23 goals and 68 points in 56 games with the Tigres, Laberge can still be seen exhausting his energy on every shift with a strong all-around work ethic. While he isn’t a defensive “ace,” the effort is present, which sets a strong foundation to be coached into a better player down the road, and in turn offer more versatility to a professional lineup.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).