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Hockey Wilderness
  • T25U25: Dylan Labbe makes the cut, but drops to #24


    Labbe has built a name for himself playing a shut down brand of defense, toeing the line against opponents' top forwards and adding grit to his high-profile minutes. His mobility and solid first-pass give him the tools to have offensive upside and add a scoring threat from the back end. However, Labbe was focused on translating the defensive side of his game during his first season in the AHL in 2015-16 and his offensive gifts did not have the opportunity to shine through. Over 54 games in Iowa, Labbe scored 4 goals and 2 assists and has seen his points per game fall from around .5 to .13 in his jump from the QMJHL to the AHL.

    This is still roughly the expected path for a 20 year old former 4th round (107 overall) draft pick making the jump to a new league. Looking forward to the new season, Labbe now has a year of experience under his belt and should find more opportunity to establish his presence in the Iowa lineup. As other defenders shuttle back and forth between Iowa and Minnesota, Labbe will have the opportunity to earn more consistent playing time and establish a role for himself on special teams.

    Looking forward to his second professional year, Labbe has to make some moves offensively to show that his offensive game translates to the AHL. He held back last year while transitioning his defensive game, but has to start to put the pieces together this year. The success he found in Shawinigan of the QMJHL will become moot if he can't demonstrate that his whole game can make the tranisition to the next step up. He should find more opportunity this year, and will need to make the best of each chance he gets.

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