Wednesday: The Oilers officially announced a three-year entry-level contract for McLeod which will start next season, and an amateur tryout that allows him to join the Condors right away. McLeod will wear No. 28 for Bakersfield.
Tuesday: The Edmonton Oilers were far from playoff contention this season, but that wasn’t the case for their AHL affiliate. The Bakersfield Condors were one of the most exciting teams in the AHL this season and will begin a second-round playoff series on Friday against the San Diego Gulls. According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet they’re hoping to get some help for that series in the form of top prospect Ryan McLeod, who the Oilers are working to get signed this week.
McLeod, 19, was selected 40th overall last June and had another solid season in the OHL. The incredibly smooth skating forward recorded 62 points in 63 games split between the Mississauga Steelheads and Saginaw Spirit, only to record another 12 in 17 playoff contests. The Spirit were defeated by the Guelph Storm in seven games during the Western finals, meaning McLeod is free to join the AHL for the rest of the season.
Like his older brother, New Jersey Devils forward Michael McLeod, the Oilers prospect is a confident two-way player that looks ready to make a contribution at the professional level. While he may not have the huge point production of some of his contemporaries, his skating, size and work ethic are all good enough for him to take the next step. That speed is of considerable interest to an Oilers team that always seemed one step behind their opponents thi season—except of course for their captain—and something they will welcome happily into the organization.
Since he won’t turn 20 until September 21st, McLeod will not burn the first year of his potential entry-level contract even if he jumps right into the AHL playoffs this season.