Here we’ve put together a collection of scouting reports and highlights of newly drafted forward, Ryan McLeod. The Edmonton Oilers selected McLeod with the 40th overall pick in the second round despite being higher on many lists and rankings. In McLeod, the Oilers have another offensive centre on their depth chart and a second straight player that ended up slipping right into their hands the draft.
Born: September 1st, 1999 — City: Oakville, Ontario
Height: 6 feet 2 inches — Weight: 200 lbs [188 cm/91 kg]
Once again the Oilers had a player who was expected by many to go higher fall into their laps. Most drafting rankings and insiders expected McLeod to be a late first rounder.
He’s projected as a third line center/winger with the possibility of playing a bit higher in the line up at times. A versatile forward with size who skates the like the wind fits perfectly with where the Oilers are headed. His favourite player and namesake is Ryan Smyth so he should get bonus points.
Overall Grade of Oilers Selection B+
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.
“One of the most fascinating players in this draft class. At this point, the parts are greater than the sum. If and when it all comes together, you have a player who should impact the game at the next level.”
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.
With continued development, McLeod could become a two-way middle-six centre in the NHL. The question here is the upside. It is doubtful that he has enough offensive tools to centre a top line. However, he could fit in nicely on a second line, providing secondary offence and matching the other team’s top line. As a late birthdate player, expect him to spend one more year in junior and then move on to the NHL In terms of style, his game is reminiscent of Ryan Kesler, but without the great shot.
The younger brother and teammate of Devils’ prospect center Michael McLeod plays a similar up-tempo game based on speed and power. Ryan consistently provides offense, but he’s also a responsible player who knows how to use his size and strength to win most of his puck battles. Because of his size, skill and speed, McLeod probably is one of the biggest “upside” picks in a draft thin at center. He’s often overlooked because he didn’t play at any international events or prospect showcases outside of the one-game Top Prospects Game exhibition. He’s a very good playmaker reliable finishing around the net, and he’s a strong, powerful skater with a blistering shot who can play either center or wing. McLeod distinguished himself as a lethal option who could shoulder big minutes after Michael and sniping winger Owen Tippett left for NHL training camp. He may not possess his sibling’s blinding speed, but he is agile and difficult to knock off balance. McLeod’s time as a depth player revealed a prospect with pro-quality puck skills who can be deployed to address any in-game concerns his coach may have.
VIDEO AND HIGHLIGHTS
Post Draft Interview:
Ryan McLeod highlight pack from 2017-18:
A second highlight pack:
|2013-14||Toronto Marlboros Bantam AAA||GTBHL||–||–||–||–||–|
|Toronto Marlboros Mn Mdgt AAA||GTMMHL||2||2||2||3||2||2||4|
|2014-15||Toronto Marlboros Mn Mdgt AAA “A”||GTMMHL||74||30||51||81||46|
|Canada White U17||WHC-17||6||1||1||4|
|2017-18||Mississauga Steelheads “A”||OHL||68||26||44||70||26||-2||6||2||3||5||6||-4|
|Toronto Marlboros Mn Mdgt AAA “A”||OHL Cup||7||3||4||7|
|Team GTHL Blue||OGC-16||5||1||2||3|
|2013-14||Toronto Marlboros Mn Mdgt AAA||OHL Cup||1|
|2016-17||Canada U18||Hlinka Memorial||4||4||2|
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