We’re getting closer to our Top 10 in this year’s T25U25. Pulling in at number 12 is Ryan McLeod. Let’s see how the panel ranked him this year.
McLeod is up two spots from his 2019 ranking of 14, though he was initially ranked at 10 overall in 2018. This year, he splits the difference at 12th overall.
McLeod was a second round selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft where he was selected at 40th overall. A southpaw centre, McLeod averaged over a point per game in his draft year while with Mississauga (OHL). A 70 point OHL season gave way to a 62 point year in 63 games with Mississauga and Saginaw before McLeod had a cup of coffee with Bakersfield in the 2019 playoffs. He signed his entry level contract in May of 2019.
His first full year (2019-20) in Bakersfield saw him net 23 points in 56 games (5-18-23). Currently on loan in Switzerland, McLeod has six points in ten games (3-3-6) with Zug. So what’s next for McLeod? Is he due a big jump in points this coming season, or will he develop into a tough minute munching grinder?
The 21 year old McLeod will be coming up on a big year next season. (They’re all big, I know.) He didn’t exactly explode out of the box last season with 23 total points, but he’ll no doubt look to make the climb in year 2 of his ELC. How much of a jump? You’d love to see 70 points at the AHL level, but I’m not sure that’s what’s in the bag of tricks. At least, not yet.
In a normal, non-pandemic year, we’d have some data to look at and analyze how much of a jump McLeod has made so far. A cursory glance around will show that we don’t have a tonne of AHL games going on right at the minute, but we have ten games from the Swiss league. McLeod’s limited time in Switzerland has helped lend a little bit of an idea of where his progression is at; though it’s difficult to completely project based on that limited amount of time. I feel that we ought to kick the ball down the road six months from now in order to make any sweeping generalizations, but the Swiss League and the AHL are quite close to each other when all is said and done.
I’m a little apprehensive to simply move total points from one league to another, but in a limited sample size of six points in ten games, that could translate to roughly a 40-45 point season in the AHL. That’d be a big jump for McLeod, and it’d be on par for a player who could top out as consistent 3C for the club at the NHL level. Whether or not McLeod hits those numbers (and whether he would improve on those numbers in 2021-22) is a bit of crystal ball stuff at this time, but the arrows are there to suggest that McLeod would be a solid roster player for the Oilers.
RYAN MCLEOD AT 12
Score a bunch of points for Zug, come over and have a killer camp (if and when it begins) then to the AHL whenever (if?) their season begins. The AHL has a target date of February 5th to start their season, and the NHL is still dreaming about January 1st.
For McLeod, it’s time to stay the course.