Doug Wilson has now signed three forwards to entry-level contracts in the past week.
With an eye always on the future, San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson was at it again on Wednesday morning. San Jose announced that they have signed forward Kevin Labanc to an entry-level contact.
The 20-year-old Labanc is having a fantastic season once again for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Currently, Labanc leads the OHL with 119 points and 81 assists in only 59 games this season, good for a staggering 2.02 points per game.
Labanc burst on to the scene with a breakthrough campaign for Barrie a season ago.
After spending some time with the United States National Development Team, Labanc recorded 11 goals and 24 assists in 2013-14 with Barrie.
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However, the Staten Island native exploded for 107 points (31 goals, 76 assists) and a plus-13 rating in 68 contests last year as he developed into one of the most dangerous playmakers in the OHL.
All Labanc has done this season is establish new career-highs with 38 goals, 81 assists, 119 points and a plus-58 rating with plenty of games still remaining.
Here’s Wilson’s assessment of the type of player the Sharks are adding to their organization:
"“Kevin has become one of the premier point producers in the OHL and has elevated his game to new heights this season. His smart, crafty play with the puck has made him a dangerous offensive player, but with the help of Barrie’s Head Coach Dale Hawerchuk, his game has improved physically and in the defensive end as well. We’re excited to see his continued development with our organization.”"
While Labanc doesn’t have the greatest size at just 5-foot-10, he is clearly someone who can make things happen with the puck on his stick.
This season alone, Labanc has been named OHL Player of the Week on four occasions while also securing Player of the Month honors in January.
Labanc has certainly grown his game nicely with Barrie after being a sixth-round draft pick (171st overall) by San Jose in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
The Sharks have now inked three forwards to entry-level deals over the past week following the earlier signings of forwards Adam Helewka and Jon Martin. Of the three, Labanc certainly brings the highest level of offensive potential and skill, and it will be interesting to see if he can continue to produce against bigger and better competition moving forward.