After landing Evan Bouchard last night with the 10th overall pick, we’re getting down to business this morning with some rapid-fire picks, starting with the Oilers choice with the 40th overall pick. With that pick, the Oilers selected skilled centreman Ryan McLeod from the Mississauga Steelheads.
With the Oilers drafting a defenceman with their first round selection last night, Peter Chiarelli mentioned that they would likely be looking for a forward with their second pick and that’s exactly what they did. Cody McLeod, a 6’2″ left-handed centreman, has spent the past three seasons with the Steelheads in the OHL and was actually ranked on most lists to go in the first round. From what I’ve read so far, McLeod is a silky smooth centre with plenty of potential and that’s just fine by me. As is the case with many young players, McLeod will need to work on his two-way game and consistency but that’s something that should come with age, experience, and more coaching.
In 68 games played with the Steelheads last year, McLeod put up 26 goals and 44 assists for 70 points.
WHO IS RYAN MCLEOD
So who is Ryan McLeod? That’s a good question. As always, I dove into the Internet machine to find out what I could about the centreman the Oilers deemed worthy of the 40th overall pick:
From the ISS:
“High end skater and shows ability to accelerate through the neutral zone. Hands are good with ability to release shot in stride. Backcheck and forecheck effort inconsistent. Projects as a third line checking winger at NHL level.”
McLeod is a fantastic skater that sees him skate low in his stance with strong and long strides that allow him to generate speed quickly though his powerful legs. He has soft hands with the puck when in stride and in a standstill, with the ability to thread passes extremely well. He combines all that with great vision and anticipation to find gaps in his opponent’s coverage.
His has a great snapshot that can beat the goalie clean or that he uses to create rebounds. Since he has such a high-level hockey IQ, he constantly has his head up and is intentionally making those plays. It’s not simply a ‘throw the puck’ at the net and hope for the best, you can see that he recognizes what to do and does it.
The Steelheads forward is a skilled player that is a constant threat with the puck because he can create in a variety of ways.
A natural center, McLeod is already strong on draws and distributes the puck efficiently to his team mates. His skating isn’t as fast as his brothers, but is still a strength to his game as he has good acceleration, strong edge work and agility and is very strong on his skates. McLeod is more of a playmaker as he has excellent vision, puck skills and is more adept at setting teammates up than finishing, but he does have a good, quick and accurate wrist shot. McLeod is already strong on draws and has good size, but could be a little more aggressive. He plays a responsible two-way game and has no glaring holes to his game.
RYAN MCLEOD JUNIOR CAREER SO FAR
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