While we’ve spoken before about the junior-aged players still around in the NHL, one name was often overlooked. Michael McLeod has technically been with the NHL team all season, though situated on injured reserve. There was some speculation that perhaps he would stick with the big club when he was healthy, but today the Devils squashed that idea. McLeod is on his way back to the OHL to play for (and captain) the Mississauga Steelheads for the remainder of the season.
Mississauga will welcome him with open arms after starting the year a disappointing 8-10-1. They recently received Owen Tippett back from the Florida Panthers as well, and should bounce back from their early season struggles. McLeod and Tippett combined for 71 goals and 148 points last season for the Steelheads, who have been relying more on McLeod’s little brother this year.
Ryan McLeod, the younger of the two, is eligible for the 2018 draft and looks like he’ll be a top-15 pick just like his brother. The pair hold incredible skating ability and creativity in the offensive zone, and have the ability to play the center position. While they may not have the elite scoring upside of some of their draft contemporaries, both are expected to make an impact as excellent two-way players pairing size and speed.