Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan McLeod has filed for salary arbitration
By Cam Lewis7 months ago
Ryan McLeod, one of the Edmonton Oilers’ restricted free agents, has filed for salary arbitration, according to PuckPedia.
McLeod is coming off of the one-year, $798k contract that he inked with the Oilers last September. He completed his entry-level contract and did Ken Holland and the team a favour by accepting a salary cut on his first deal as a restricted free agent, so he’ll be seeking a nice raise this summer.
While going to arbitration is generally viewed as a negative because the process involves a team essentially telling a player why he isn’t worth what he wants to be paid, this isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. Both Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto filed for arbitration last off-season and they both signed deals with the Oilers before their hearing date.
It’s also worth noting that McLeod isn’t able to sign an offer sheet with another club now that he’s filed for arbitration. That isn’t the case with Evan Bouchard, another restricted free agent who isn’t yet eligible for arbitration.
The Oilers selected McLeod with their second-round pick in the 2018 draft from the Mississauga Steelheads. He played one post-draft season in the OHL and made his professional debut with the Bakersfield Condors during their playoff run in 2019.
McLeod scored five goals and 23 points over 56 games for the Condors during his first professional season in 2019-20. While hockey was paused in North America because of the pandemic in the winter of 2020, McLeod joined EV Zug of Switzerland’s top pro league and scored 11 points over 15 games.
He joined the Condors in January when AHL play resumed and broke out with 14 goals and 28 points over 28 games. The Oilers liked what they saw from McLeod in Bakersfield so they called him up to make his NHL debut in March. He suited up for 10 regular season games and played in all four of Edmonton’s playoff games against the Winnipeg Jets.
McLeod got caught in a numbers game and went down to Bakersfield for some more seasoning early in the 2021-22 season. He was called up after seven games with the Condors and hasn’t looked back since.
Now 23 years old, McLeod has established himself as a versatile, two-way forward who can centre a checking line or add speed on the wing in the top six. He scored nine goals and 21 points over 71 games in his first full season and improved to 11 goals and 23 assists over 57 games in 2022-23.
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