2017-18 Team: Mississauga Steelheads (#91)
Date of Birth: Sep. 21, 1999
Place of Birth: Mississauga, Ont.
Ht: 6’2” Wt: 203 lbs.
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2018 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 16th (among NA Skaters)
- Future Considerations: 23rd
- McKeen’s Hockey: 23rd
- ISS Hockey: 26th
Ryan McLeod may be one of the most interesting players in the entire 2018 NHL Draft class. While he has all the makings of a star at the next level, there are some areas of his game that he’ll have to work out if he ever wants to even make it to the NHL.
From a purely statistical perspective, McLeod has it all – he’s 6 foot 2 and 203 pounds and has improved every season he’s been in the OHL. In his rookie season, he scored seven goals and 20 points in 62 games. He more than doubled that point production in his sophomore season with nine goals and 42 points in 68 games before adding an impressive five goals and 20 points in 20 playoff games.
It wasn’t until his draft year that McLeod really showed what he was all about, however, scoring 26 goals and 70 points in 68 games. He’s an intriguing prospect due to his combination of size, speed and high hockey IQ. What makes him a bit more of a risk, however, is the fact that he isn’t overly physical and doesn’t use his body to gain position nearly as often as he should. His intensity level is another glaring issue as teams are always looking for players who consistently prove that they want to improve and succeed.
While McLeod has a decent finishing touch, his playmaking is what sets him apart from other players in this draft class. He has a very good shot and knows how to use it but when push comes to shove, McLeod’s ability to find an open player and feed them the puck is something he excels at. Part of that playmaking ability is what makes him such a good center prospect. The intensity issue, however, makes it so that he often shifted from center to the wing and back again depending on the game and depending on the situation.
While NHL teams love versatility, they’d also love for McLeod to develop into a consistent center at the NHL level. Fortunately, he’s proven that he can be a very good center when given the opportunity. He’s also proven he can be a fixture on the power play and on the penalty kill.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Ryan McLeod – NHL Draft Projection
Despite his short-comings in certain areas, McLeod’s ability to produce offense and his elite traits make him almost a sure-fire lock to go at some point in the first round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Seeing him taken anywhere between picks 20 and 25 wouldn’t be surprising in the slightest.
“The strengths in his game are his skating and shooting abilities, but needs to improve his compete level at times.” – Peter Harling, Dobber Prospects
“Speed runs in the family. Isn’t as hard-nosed as older brother, Michael but plays a similar game. Missed the 2017 cut-off by a week so his developmental arc is a little clearer. A pro-style guy.” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects
“Big-bodied power forward with speed and playmaking abilities who was one of the top OHL scorers among first-year draft eligibles. McLeod’s versatility is one of several things that stand out about him — he can play center or wing, shoot the puck with authority and is a mainstay on both the power play and penalty kill.” – Steve Kournianos, Sporting New
“One of the most fascinating players in this draft class. At this point, the parts are greater than the sum. If and when it all comes together, you have a player who should impact the game at the next level.” – Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet
- Hockey IQ
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Compete level/intensity
If McLeod can put all of his attributes and skills together and show that he can consistently compete, there’s no reason he can’t turn into a top-six center with No. 1 center upside. He has a plus-shot, passing ability, skating and hockey-IQ. Players with that type of skillset typically excel at the NHL level if they work hard enough to get to that point in their career.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 4.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 9/10 Defence – 6/10
2013-14 OHL Cup Champion, 2014-15 GTHL Player of the Year, OHL Cup Champion, OHL Cup MVP, GTMMHL Scotiabank Playoff Champion