Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his rankings of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects of 2016. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held at First Niagara Center here in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
#13.Michael McLeod – C, Mississauga (OHL)
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |
McLeod has positioned himself as a high-end commodity not only for his supreme skating ability, but also as a two-way force with top notch leadership skills.
With great quickness, agility and puck-handling skill, McLeod draws a lot of attention when he gets the puck and it often results in him finding a wide open winger for an uncontested chance. His awareness is off the charts, making him a top-flight threat given his ability to make plays at a high rate of speed like few others in the draft class.
McLeod can lock it down defensively, employing consistent pressure and a very active stick. He can quickly flip the switch to become a speedy offensive creator who can burn defenders with his vision and goaltenders with his fast, accurate wrist shot.
He’s also proven to be highly efficient at the faceoff circle, which is becoming a more important part of the scouting process as puck possession has increasingly become a focus for team builders.
The centerman received a bit of a scare in February when he underwent arthroscopic surgery for a meniscus tear, but was only out of the lineup for a month, returning to capture points in the team’s final seven regular season games.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).