The Edmonton Oilers have made another cut from their training camp roster today assigning 2018 second round draft choice Ryan McLeod to the OHL. It’s a surprising move in the sense that it came so deep into camp. No one, myself included, thought McLeod had a prayer to make this team. He very nearly did.
McLeod will return to Ontario, playing for the Mississauga Steelheads once again this coming season. He didn’t sign his entry-level contract before going down, but I suspect we see that happen well before training camp opens up in September of 2019.
I was really impressed with the two-way ability of McLeod’s game. His attention to detail really caught me off guard, and he came faster than anticipated. His skill-level was also higher than I thought it would be based off of scouting reports, and I thought he looked really good with Kailer Yamamoto and Tyler Benson.
There are kinks to his game that have to be fixed. He needs to attack more in the offensive zone and he can’t be so passive, always trying to dish it off instead of attacking. Once he learns to be a little more selfish with the puck and use the skills he has, McLeod will no doubt be an NHL’er.
I expect him to return to the OHL and have a big season. A lot of powerplay time, and by extension numbers, should be expected for a player that thrived in this game state a season ago. An improvement in five-on-five offense will be the big tell this coming winter, however. If McLeod is able to take a step forward in this game state, we could be talking about him making the team next October.
The skill is so apparent on this player, and his two-way ability will get him NHL opportunites throughout his career. He made one helluva first impression and is firmly on the club’s radar now. I susepct McLeod jumps way up in people’s prospect rankings, and will be a threat to steal a roster spot at this time next year.