The Edmonton Oilers have announced that forward Ryan McLeod has been activated off of injured reserve. In order to clear the roster spot necessary to complete this activation, the Oilers have placed defenseman Ryan Murray on injured reserve.
McLeod has been out since November with an undisclosed injury. The 23-year-old forward is in his second season as an NHL regular and has largely found a role as the team’s top penalty-killing center and as a third-liner at even strength.
McLeod scored 21 points in 71 games last year and has upped those numbers so far in 2021-22 with eight points in 21 games, a 31-point pace.
The 2018 second-round pick’s high-end speed sets him apart, and his return to the Oilers’ lineup is likely to be welcomed by head coach Jay Woodcroft, his penalty-kill has surrendered a power play goal in three straight games.
To clear a spot for McLeod, Murray heads to injured reserve. Unfortunately, this isn’t a surprising development for Murray, as missing time due to injuries has been one of the common themes of his career since being drafted second overall at the 2012 draft.
The 29-year-old defenseman is expected to be out for some time, but with Markus Niemelainen already up from the Bakersfield Condors the Oilers could add McLeod to their roster and lose Murray and still have seven defensemen.