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When the New Jersey Devils selected Michael McLeod with the 12th overall pick, they probably thought they were getting a future star – or at least hoping that was the case.
In his draft year he was a consistent offensive contributor finishing 2nd on Mississauga in scoring – he averaged better than a point per game – while showcasing elite skating ability and a non-stop motor that coaches and management tend to fall in love with.
He seemed like a solid bet to become a high-end
contributor but, based on the 19-year-old season he just had, the odds of that becoming a reality don't appear overly high.
Since 2008-09, 26 forwards chosen in the 1st round of the NHL draft spent their 19-year-old seasons in the OHL.
In terms of 5v5 data, McLeod's was one of the worst.
Note: table sorted by 5v5 points/60.
McLeod ranks 26th in goals/60, 23rd in primary points/60 and 22th in points/60. In terms of on-ice numbers, he didn't fare any better as he was the only prospect to finish with a Goals For% below 50% *and* post a negative Relative Goals For%
Now, it's worth noting McLeod played very tough minutes for Mississauga. He was also asked to drive his own line a lot of the time while his brother, Ryan, often had the benefit of playing with the team's top winger in Owen Tippett.
Still, you would expect more offense from an NHL prospect in his D+2 year – especially one drafted that high.
This is not to say McLeod can't be an NHLer and a good one at that – I expect he'll be a useful player sooner than later. I just think you'll be disappointed if you're expecting him to become a big time offensive player.
The numbers certainly suggest that to be the case as none of the players who averaged fewer than 3.00 points/60 turned into top-6 forwards at the NHL level.
data via prospect-stats.com
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