19-year-old Ryan McLeod plays the kind of two-way game the Sharks love. The center currently plays for his hometown team the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL. He is averaging just under a point per game, with 19 goals in 59 games. The general consensus on McLeod is he’s very responsible on both ends of the ice, making him reliable in every situation.
McLeod is ranked 16th among North American skaters according to NHL Central Scouting. He is ranked anywhere between 15th and 24th by the other top scouting groups. ISS Hockey expects this year to be a breakout year for McLeod, calling him an “...effortless skater, extremely fluid in all aspects, great speed & edges.”
McLeod is in his third season with the Mississagua Steelheads in the OHL. He plays alongside his older brother Michael McLeod, who was drafted 12th overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 2016 NHL Draft. After three years, the younger McLeod is starting to come into his own. He’s an almost point per game player. McLeod has scored 58 points in 59 games, scoring 19 goals in that same span.
McLeod was also a point per game player in last season’s OHL playoffs, scoring 20 points in 20 games. He was also a plus-13 in that run.
McLeod is considered a solid two-way player who works hard down low, two things that would fit well within the Sharks system. Future Considerations says the young center “...has an endless motor and is hard to outwork…doesn’t stop competing and he uses his strength to win space and possession of the puck…effective defensively, and works hard at both ends…knows what his responsibilities are and how to fulfill his duties in his own zone…has upside as a top-six two-way NHL center.”
While Last Word on Hockey says, “...McLeod also has very good vision and passing skills. He can create off the rush, using his speed and stickhandling ability to get past defenders...Working down low, he can also control the puck, slow down the play and set-up plays when his teammates get open.”
Areas of Improvement
If there’s one knock against McLeod, it’s his shot. Last Word on Hockey says, “He also has a decent wrist shot but does not use it often enough.” While Future Considerations adds that McLeod’s shot is effective, but limited: “[McLeod] has a decent shot that is most effective in and around the slot.”
Future Considerations also says McLeod is “...not the fastest when moving north-south, but is quick and agile in short bursts and able to deceive opposition with quick changes of direction or pace.”
This is a highlight from a year and a half ago, but McLeod has only gotten better with age. On October 21, 2016, McLeod scored two goals against the Ice Dogs. The first one was a quick wraparound that beat the Ice Dogs goalie. The second was thanks to a solid defensive play that quickly turned into a goal.
If you’d like to see more of McLeod in action, take a look at these highlights from the past two years:
Ultimately, I doubt the Sharks will get a shot at McLeod, but if they do, I think they should take it. He’s a hard worker on both ends of the ice. He also plays well down low, which fits well into the Sharks system of a strong forecheck.