2009-10: After appearing in two games for Penticton in 2008-09, Joey LaLeggia was among the top offensive defensemen in the BCHL in his first full season with the Vees. In 54 games he scored 13 goals and led all BCHL defensemen with 52 assists. The Vees finished second in the Interior Division and lost to Vernon in the conference finals in the playoffs. In 16 playoff games LaLeggia scored 2 goals with 10 assists and had 8 penalty minutes.
2010-11: LaLeggia led all scorers for Penticton in his second season with the Vees. In 58 games he scored 20 goals with 62 assists and had 47 penalty minutes. Penticton again finished second in the Interior Division but lost in the conference quarterfinals in the playoffs. In nine playoff games LaLeggia scored 1 goal with 9 assists and had 12 penalty minutes. Laleggia was named the BCHL Interior Division’s top defenseman and committed to playing college hockey at the University of Denver in 2011-12.
2011-12: LaLeggia skated in 43 games for the University of Denver as a freshman and was named the WCHA’s Rookie of the Year. He scored 11 goals with 27 assists and was plus-13 with 35 penalty minutes. After finishing third in the WCHA during the regular season, the Pioneers reached the conference championship game and were an at-large selection for the NCAA tournament. In his third year of draft eligibility, Laleggia was not among the 210 North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft but was selected by Edmonton in the fifth round (123rd overall).
2012-13: Laleggia played 39 games for Denver in his sophomore season and led Pioneers defenseman with 11 goals. He also had 18 assists and was -7 with 31 penalty minutes. Six of his 11 goals came on the power play. The Pioneers tied for fourth in the WCHA and received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after falling to rival Colorado College in a three-game WCHA playoff series. Denver lost to New Hampshire, 5-2, in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinals.
2013-14: LaLeggia was named the Defenseman of the Year in the first year of the National College Hockey Conference and was a first-team West All-American in his junior season at the University of Denver. In 37 games he scored 12 goals with 13 assists and was +7 with 36 penalty minutes. Denver finished sixth in the eight-team NCHC but won four straight playoff games to win the conference title. The Pioneers topped last-place Miami, 4-3, in the title game before falling to defending national champion Boston College, 6-2, in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinals.
2014-15: LaLeggia signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Oilers in March 2015 following his senior season at the University of Denver. He made his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons on April 7th in a game against San Antonio. In five regular season AHL games he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -4 with 2 penalty minutes. The Barons reached the second round in the playoffs and in two playoff games LaLeggia was -1 with no points nor penalties. The University of Denver’s third-leading scorer behind forwards Danton Heinen (Boston) and Trevor Moore, he scored 15 goals wtiih 25 assists in 37 games and was +14 with 56 penalty minutes. The Pioneers finished fourth in the NCHC, earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after defeating North Dakota, 5-1 in the NCHC third-place game. Denver topped Boston College, 5-2, before a 4-1 loss to eventual national champion Providence in the East Regional final.
LaLeggia is a puck-moving defender that has above average hockey sense and processes the game at a very high rate. He has fluid skating skills, is an excellent passer, and can control the power play. The small defender is an offensive blueliner that can score but has difficulty with physicality in the defensive zone.
LaLeggia has flourished at the AHL level with new Edmonton affiliate Bakersfield in 2015-16 in his first pro season. Frequently paired with the larger David Musil, he has used his speed and skill to create scoring chances while avoiding vulnerable situations. His offensive numbers at the AHL level have been impressive. Whether he can have that same success in the NHL is uncertain. His game compares to that of players like Boston's Torey Krug or Sami Vatanen of the Anaheim Ducks.