We begin the top 10 portion of our Top 25 Under 25 with a centre from the OHL. We don’t have to go too far back into our memory banks for #10 (we only need to step back a couple of months to the 2018 NHL Entry Draft). Steelheads centre Ryan McLeod scored 70 points with Mississauga last season. Can he carry that scoring touch over to the NHL?
Let’s see how our panelists voted for McLeod
I’m a little bit more optimistic about McLeod than most prospects. I think there’s some real good chance that he can make some noise on the Oilers in a few years.
Ryan McLeod was drafted by the Oilers at 40th overall in the 2018 entry draft. McLeod is a southpaw centre from Mississauga who stands at 6’2” and 200 lbs. He finished third on the Steelheads (OHL) in scoring with 70 points (26-44-70) in 68 games. Only defenceman Nicolas Hague (2nd round in 2017, Vegas) and Owen Tippett (1st round, Florida) finished higher in scoring on the club.
McLeod has shown great progress in his time with Mississauga. His 16 year old season saw him put together a 20 point season in 62 games. In 2016-17, he climbed up to 42 points in 68 games. Last year saw him hit the 70 point marker. What’s next in 2018-19?
OK, so we’ve established that he can score at the OHL level. What else?
Like a handful of players in Edmonton’s recent draft classes, McLeod glides with the puck. Fleet footed centres who can score get high marks from over here. And while scoring goals is great (McLeod had 26 in 2017-18, I’m a big fan) I’m also a big fan of players who can set up goals, like Ryan McLeod and how his 44 assists led the club in 2017-18.
A GOOD 2018-19 LOOKS LIKE...
More of what he did in 2017-18. 70 points in 68 games is a pretty darn good third year in the OHL. How high is his ceiling?
DOWN THE MIDDLE
We’re a few years away from Ryan McLeod being near an NHL roster, but if he continues scoring (and can translate that over to the NHL), it could mean some good things for the Oilers should they ever decide to figure out how to run three scoring lines. Connor McDavid is doing everything and a little bit more for the Oilers right now. Two straight seasons scoring 100 and 108 points before turning 21? That’s the franchise. Leon Draisaitl is a formidable second line centre having completed his second straight season with 70 or more points.
McLeod will play another year in Mississauga before likely getting some time in Bakersfield. He’ll be one to watch in 2020.