With the twelfth pick in the 2016 NHL Draft the New Jersey Devils have selected Michael McLeod from the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL.
About Michael McLeod
Michael McLeod is one of the best skaters in the entire draft. While it’s smooth, and has a fast top-speed, his acceleration might be the most impressive. It wouldn’t be surprising to see McLeod lighting up the NHL All-Star Game fastest-skater competition in his future, potentially breaking records along the way.
In addition to his skating, McLeod brings leadership, defensive accountability, NHL-caliber vision and play-making ability, and solid play away from the puck. McLeod also brings size to the Devils lineup at 6 foot 2 and 185 pounds, which is always a valuable trait among centers in the League. While he likely won’t be NHL-ready for a few years, McLeod has the potential to be a very fun, respectable player to watch for years to come.
How This Affects The New Jersey Devils Plans
The New Jersey Devils have a few prospects that are highly-rated including Pavel Zacha, Reid Boucher, Mackenzie Blackwood, and Steven Santini. While the team has done a good job at selecting defensive prospects over the last few years including Adam Larsson, Damon Severson, Jon Merrill, and Eric Gelinas to name a few. With the drafting of McLeod, they seem to be leaving that trend behind. With both Pavel Zacha and McLeod joining the system, the Devils look like they could be making a run at developing one of the more skilled prospect pools in the League.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) June 25, 2016
The New Jersey Devils will likely have to wait a few years to see McLeod in action, but the wait will be worth it as he has displayed a very solid skill-set that coach John Hynes can utilize to it’s fullest. There is no reason to think that the Devils will rush McLeod as they simply aren’t close to contending yet. However, within the next few years, the Devils could put together one of the better young-lineups in all of the NHL given their talent coming up.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.