On Sunday (April 20) the Edmonton Oilers recalled top prospect Ryan McLeod to their taxi squad. The 21-year-old-centre has 14 objectives and 14 assists in 28 video games this season with the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors.
That is the primary Nationwide Hockey League call-up for McLeod, who was drafted with the ninth collection of the second spherical, fortieth total, by the Oilers in 2018 whereas enjoying main junior for his hometown Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League.
After clearing quarantine, McLeod might be moved to Edmonton’s lively roster and make his NHL debut as quickly as subsequent week. Within the meantime, listed here are 5 issues to know concerning the promising younger ahead.
He Grew Up an Oilers Fan
Throughout his look on Icebreakers with the Condors, a section from 23ABC tv in Bakersfield, McLeod reveals his favourite staff whereas rising up was certainly the Oilers, due to Ryan Smyth being his favourite participant. Smyth, one of the crucial beloved gamers in franchise historical past, performed left wing for the Oilers from 1994 to 2007 after which once more from 2011 t0 2014.
Being a product of the GTA, McLeod admitted he additionally needed to cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He’s A part of a Hockey Household
McLeod is the youngest of three siblings who’ve made it to the professional ranks of hockey; 23-year-old Michael McLeod is at present a middle with the New Jersey Devils, whereas 24-year-old defenceman Matt McLeod spent the 2019-20 season with the Brampton Beast earlier than the ECHL franchise ceased operations this February.
Ryan and Michael have been teammates on the Steelheads for 3 seasons, from 2015-16 to 2017-18, serving to Mississauga attain the OHL championship collection in 2017. Michael was drafted twelfth total by the Devils in 2016 and performed his first NHL sport in 2018-19.
He Was a Draft Day Steal
McCleod entered the 2018 NHL Draft ranked sixteenth amongst North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, twenty second on TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s ultimate draft rankings, and twenty ninth on Craig’s Checklist by Craig Button. That the Mississauga middle was by some means nonetheless obtainable when the Oilers picked at No. 40 might be attributed to a premium on defensemen, with that place accounting for eight of the ultimate 11 picks of the primary spherical.
On the time of McLeod’s recall, 26 of the 39 gamers chosen earlier than him had suited up for a minimum of one sport within the NHL, whereas simply 5 of the 31 second-round choices had appeared in an NHL sport.
He’s Worn the Maple Leaf
McLeod has twice competed internationally, first serving to Canada White win gold on the 2015 World Underneath-17 Hockey Problem in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C., then suiting up for Canada’s Nationwide Males’s Summer season Underneath-18 Staff on the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Bratislava, Slovakia.
On each events, McLeod’s teammates included present Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard, who Edmonton drafted 10th overall in 2018, 30 picks forward of McLeod.
He Had a Stint Abroad
With the opening of this hockey season in North America delayed, McLeod was loaned final September by the Oilers to EV Zug of the Swiss Nationwide League. He performed 15 video games in Switzerland, recording 4 objectives and 7 assists – not a nasty deal for Zug, which needed to pay only his food and accommodation.
Former Oilers which have beforehand performed for Zug embrace Linus Omark, who Edmonton loaned in the beginning of the 2012-13 season when NHL groups locked out gamers over a labor dispute.
McLeod is the primary participant the Oilers have recalled from Bakersfield because the present AHL season started in early February. He can be the second rookie to make his NHL debut for Edmonton in 2021, following Bakersfield’s present No. 1 goaltender Stuart Skinner, who received the beginning for the Oilers in an 8-5 win over the Ottawa Senators on Jan. 31.
In Dave Tippett’s media availability on Monday (April 19) previous to Edmonton’s 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, the Oilers coach mentioned of McLeod “we’d wish to get him some video games right here down the stretch to see the place he’s at”, and that was earlier than bottom-six stalwart Jujhar Khaira was injured in the course of the sport; Khaira is out indefinitely, leaving a gap within the lineup at middle.
Starting April 26, the Oilers play a stretch of 11 video games in 20 days to shut the common season, offering loads of alternative for McLeod to see some motion.
Brian is an Edmonton-based sports activities author and broadcaster. His expertise consists of working as a sports activities reporter for the Edmonton Solar, the place he lined the Edmonton Oil Kings 2013-14 Memorial Cup championship season.