Some snow and ice would look kinda nice about now, eh?
As the summer rolls through Alberta’s capital there is a large faction of hockey fans awaiting the first signs of winter, and I am one of them. The offseason is absolute torture for NHL fans and that forces writers, like myself, to think of things to entertain the masses. Luckily, we here at Copper & Blue figured it out with the top 25 Edmonton Oilers under 25!
We’ve started the list with Oliver Rodrigue at #25 and now we are closing in on the top 10....but before we get there we have to tackle the player at #14.
Ryan McLeod’s tenure with the Edmonton Oilers hasn’t been long but he has wasted no time in showing Oilers fans a potential look into the future. So, lets dive a little deeper into the 2018 second rounder.
Who Is Ryan McLeod?
Born in Mississauga, Ontario, Ryan McLeod belongs to an up-and-coming hockey family. His brother, Michael, was a first round draft pick by the New Jersey Devils in 2016 and, Ryan himself, was selected 40th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 2018.
Going into his draft year McLeod was ranked as a fringe first round pick. Scouts had him as high as #16 in the draft class as scouts remarked him for his exceptional centerman with strong skating and ability to play a reliable two-way game. While Ryan might not possess the insane speed of his brother, many who have watched him saw the potential for a top-6 forward at the NHL level. However, come draft day, it seemed some inconsistencies in his game scared teams away and, instead of landing in the first round, fell to the Edmonton Oilers at pick #40.
Ryan McLeod’s first training camp in Edmonton was where his story really took off. McLeod was excellent for the Oilers, scoring 3pts in 4 games. He looked completely at home in the NHL and nearly played himself into a spot on the big team. The team ultimately decided to send McLeod back to the OHL to play with the Mississauga Steelheads.
McLeod had high expectations to perform well with the Steelheads. The previous year saw him notch 70pts in 68 games played and many around the team expected a higher point total this time around. McLeod got off to a hot start, scoring 11pts in Mississauga’s first 7 games, but eventually cooled off significantly. After playing 38pts in 32 games McLeod was dealt to the the Saginaw Spirit, where he put up 24pts in 21 games. This brought his overall totals for the 2018/19 season to 62pts in 53 games, a slightly higher point-per-game pace than he had the year prior.
Why At #14?
Overall, this past season was a bit of a disappointment for Ryan McLeod. His excellent showing at training camp had risen his expectations considerably and he failed to live up to them. Although he did have a marginally better point-per-game pace, he didn’t take the leap that he was expected to take. However, despite this, Ryan McLeod remain a very promising prospect for the Edmonton Oilers. He has shown that he can be useful in the professional ranks and I fully expect him to make a strong case in training camp once again.
His tool-set is very impressive and NHL teams are always looking for young two-way centers to add to their top 9. I don’t believe McLeod will make the leap to the NHL just yet, but I anticipate that he might be a legitimate contender to make the team in time for the 2020/21 season.
The potential is there for McLeod and I believe there is a chance he lives up to it in the next few years.
The top 10 is just around the corner and things are about to get exciting!
The fact that a player like Ryan McLeod is pegged at #14 in the Oilers organization can only be seen as a positive! The team has an impressive group of young talent that hasn’t been seen in many many years!
Who do you think is up next at #13? Leave a comment below and let me know!