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Photo Credit: TERRY WILSON/OHL IMAGES

Second Round: Edmonton Oilers draft Ryan McLeod 40th overall

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.”

From CanucksArmy’s prospect profiles:

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.

From Dobber Prospects:

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.

PRE-DRAFT RANKINGS

Ranked #22 by TSN/McKenzie

RYAN MCLEOD JUNIOR CAREER SO FAR

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2015-16 Mississauga Steelheads OHL 62 7 13 20 16 -6 7 0 2 2 2
2016-17 Mississauga Steelheads OHL 68 9 33 42 36 12 20 5 15 20 2
2017-18 Mississauga Steelheads OHL 68 26 44 70 26 -2 6 2 3 5 6

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    • IRONman

      94 was his favourite. Get this guy a jersey with 91 on the back. Luv n this pick. Here is our winger for Leon or 3rd line center. Wise way Pc. I like The Plan. Did we sign Strome or Nurse? Feel package deal with looch soon. Looch agent is no comment and did not deny a trade. New nhl is Speeeeed

    • FISTO Siltanen

      On right defence they currently have:

      Larsson
      Benning
      Bear
      Ryan Mantha
      Joel Persson
      Filip Berglund
      Evan Bouchard

      Not saying they’ll all be stars but the problem with overloading the system is guys start making other plans or just wait for exclusive negotiating rights to expire and move on.

      Think Tobias Reider – saw the “depth” on wings with the Oilers and, from reports, said he wouldn’t sign and instead return to the draft. Oilers traded him for pennies on the dollar making him a wasted draft pick.

  • Drivefastfinishlast

    Both Bouchard and McLeod play with a lack of intensity/competivness.
    Also, Bouchard doesn’t win many puck battles along the boards. Some people call Bouchard a plank in the offensive zone when he doesn’t have the puck, he just stands there and watches, waiting for the puck to come to him.

        • Ol_OneNut

          Heres what some other people had to say:
          “Bouchard has spent the season dominating the OHL”
          “he is a smart player that produces at an elite level”
          “Bouchard has a very strong all-around game”
          “while he is an elite powerplay quarterback, Bouchard also led OHL defenders with 45 5v5 points.”

        • Drivefastfinishlast

          * also the scouting report above even said that McLeod doesn’t play with enough aggression.
          But that is the reason why Bouchard didn’t go higher in the draft.
          People like you can’t handle the truth it’s either happy good-feeling comments or nothing at all

    • crabman

      Bouchard was playing 30-35 minutes a game. He was a workhorse. Big minutes in all 3 disciplines and controls the game. You can’t play at a high intensity for over half the game every game. The biggest knock on Bouchard is he is just a good not great skater. That’s it.
      McLeod is inconsistent. Great skater, gains the offensive blueline well then gets passive. High hockey IQ and skill but his defensive game is strong enough that if he never lives up to his offensive potential he could be a very good 2way 3rd line center down the road.
      It’s draft weekend and I choose to look at what a player is and can do and not what they can’t do perfect yet as 18 year olds.
      All 3 picks so far are very good prospects and very good bets.

    • crabman

      3 great choices through the 1st 2 rounds. my only issue is giving up the 5th round to move up 9 spots. But even with Skinner as a goalie prospect we are thin in real goalie prospects and if this is a move Keith Gretzky supported I can get behind it.

      • Lyxdeslic

        “my only issue is giving up a 5th rounder” Meh its not a big deal. 5th rounders have about a 3% chance of making the NHL. I’m fine with using that 3% chance to move up in the draft to take the highest rated NA goalie in the draft.

        • crabman

          @Lyxdeslic,

          Absolutely. I would prefer they move the pick if that’s what it took to get the player they really wanted.
          But with the absence of a 4th round pick, trading the 5th means we will be leaving the draft with only 5 players unless another trade is made. For a team lacking prospects in the system, compared to many other teams, I want them to come away with as many prospects as possible this weekend.
          Over the past 3 years we added, Bear, Jones, Safin,and Maksimov in the 4th and 5th rounds. All in our top 10 prospects. Chiarelli and his scouting staff has done well in the mid-later rounds and I was excited to see who they were going to take this year.