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With the 25th overall pick, the Toronto Maple Leafs select… Ryan McLeod?

Who is Ryan McLeod?

We’d be doing ourselves a discredit to the draft profile cliche if we didn’t get the obvious out of the way: he’s the younger brother of Mikey McLeod, the 2016 first round pick of the New Jersey Devils. His older brother Matt also plays at Canisius College, but with a total of 16 points through three seasons there as a centre, isn’t exactly looking like the next can’t-miss kid.

Ryan himself is a local boy, having being born in Mississauga and having played for the Toronto Marlboros in the GTHL while growing up. A minor hockey teammate of Quinn Hughes and Matthew Strome, McLeod led that team in scoring with 81 points in 74 games, winning OHL Cup MVP and GTHL player of the Year before going third overall in the 2015 OHL draft to Flint. He’d get traded before the season started for six picks. In their three seasons, Flint has won a total of one playoff game, while missing the playoffs twice.

Where is McLeod ranked?

What the numbers say about McLeod

Slightly over a point per game player in his draft year, McLeod was a key performer in the Steelheads’ run to the OHL finals a year earlier.  50 of his 70 points this season came from primary points, indicating he’s not one to be viewed as a passenger.  McLeod was tied for 29th this season in OHL scoring.

While the Steelheads took a step back this past season, finishing 7th in the Eastern Conference, McLeod saw his role increase, finishing third on team scoring behind only 2017 draftees Nic Hague and Owen Tippett. Amongst all 17 year olds in the OHL, he finished 6th in primary points and fourth in total points.

Fancier stats: 

The Eye Test

What’s been written about McLeod?

Uses his strong skating to attack and make things happen offensively. – Craig Button, TSN

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 News

“Ryan is an effortless skater that can beat a defender as if he were standing still. GTHL Player of the Year and OHL Cup MVP has the ability to slow the game down when he needs to. He is a playmaker first, always looking to set up his teammates. Ryan is a force offensively each time he is on the ice.”  – OHL Central scouting

Why the Leafs should draft Ryan McLeod

McLeod isn’t the first-pair defenceman the Leafs have been coveting, and he’s not exactly putting up eye-popping numbers either.

But he seems to be a dependable enough talent with a high enough ceiling that picking him isn’t quite a “Gauthier-like” decision. There will probably be higher-risk, higher-reward type players. It isn’t inconceivable to imagine that McLeod could slot into the NHL within the next few seasons. For a team that’s looking to be competitive right away, perhaps McLeod could be the second-third line centre the Leafs are seeking to round out their lineup. If he’s still on the board, it wouldn’t exactly be a reach for McLeod to call the Blue and White home.

MLN Draft #Content

Draft Articles Who to take at 25th Overall Maybe Later
Case for Trading Up Calen Addison Blade Jenkins
Case for Trading Down Ryan McLeod
Case for Picking 25th
Case for Trading the Pick
Leafs Geeks Draft Preview

 

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  • Capt.Jay

    With these reviews and the fact he played on a subpar team behind two older first rounders in the NHL I’d say he could be a bit of a sleeper perhaps. Nice write up