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What to expect this summer from Ryan McLeod

Ryan McLeod just wrapped up his first season of pro hockey this year playing with the Bakersfield Condors.

There, he scored five goals and 23 points in 56 games getting a good look at the pro game. Drafted by the Oilers in the second round of the 2018 draft, it was a fairly strong season for McLeod nearly being a point-per-game producer in his four OHL seasons.

Known for his speed, his strong skating ability and high offensive IQ, it’s undeniable that McLeod is a strong prospect for the Oilers centre rankings in the years to come.

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While yes, he needs more polishing in the AHL, he could be a guy Edmonton sees in the bottom-six sooner than later.

And with that, he earned a chance to prove himself amid the Oilers training camp and at this point, it’s hard to imagine him in any games.

McLeod is still a very raw talent and as I mentioned above, needs time to develop his skill set still. Arguments have been made that he’s too much of a perimeter player struggling to dig in deep. That’s a concern for a centre at any level and is something the Oilers can’t have as a weakness when other centre’s can provide that level of grit in the bottom-six.

It’s not to say that McLeod can’t round himself out in the years to come, but to put him in a best-of-five series against Chicago, or more potential playoff games in the future, could be a situation far too risky.

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Nonetheless, McLeod is going to get a great taste of not only what the NHL is like, but also a chance to learn from the big club about what and where he needs to work on his game.

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On Twitter: @zjlaing