It happens every year, top-end prospects fall to later picks in the NHL Draft. Last year we saw it happen to players like Travis Konecny, Mathew Barzal, and many more. Michael McLeod has all the tools to be a top-15 pick, but given all the other talent available in that range, it's not entirely crazy to think that he could fall outside of the lottery group.
With a high motor, exceptional playmaking ability, and hands softer than Charmin, I'd have to think that the Red Wings have to be hoping this kid falls down to them in the first round.
Name: Michael McLeod
Born: February 2nd, 1998 -- Mississauga, Ontario
Weight: 185 lbs.
Michael McLeod is a strong two-way play-making center who has been touted as one of the OHL's fastest skaters. His blend of size and speed remind me a lot of what Dylan Larkin was when the Red Wings drafted him in 2014. He has a deft set of hands that can keep up with his high-motor, which enable him to cut through the opposing team's defense to score highlight-reel goals. McLeod shows that he can skate with the best of them, even at higher levels. His breakaway speed is magnificent, due to his explosive stride.
Vision, playmaking, and speed make McLeod a weapon on the penalty kill. He'll block shots, use his reach to knock pucks loose, and get physical if need be. The biggest knock on McLeod is that he struggles showing consistency at times. He'll go hot, then he'll go cold. Most power forwards do this, so it's not a huge concern. With NHL development, he'll pack on muscle, he'll become stronger, thus making him a definite top-six center given his speed and skill with and without the puck.
Combine results: Pension Plan Puppets
Michael McLeod finished in the top-ten for VO2 Max, and Standing Long Jump.
"Low-risk, high-reward pick right here. McLeod was a leader on a young Steelheads team, plays a well-rounded game at both ends of the rink and will go anywhere to make something happen. Not shy to take the puck to the net and cut to the slot for a better lane."
NHL CSS: 13 (NA Skaters)
Future Considerations: 15
There's a chance that Michael McLeod falls to 16th overall. It's slim, but it could happen.
He's a skilled, speedy, and stout. The Red Wings love stockpiling two-way centers, and McLeod would be one of the top-two prospects in the system next to Evgeny Svechnikov. The debate is if McLeod is available at 16th overall, should the Red Wings consider drafting him, or a defenseman. While the Red Wings desperately need defense, they also need gifted depth down the middle.
If I was a betting man, the Red Wings will likely take a center at 16th overall (assuming they don't trade down), and take a defenseman at 46th overall. If McLeod is around for them in the first round, there should be no hesitating. He'll be one hell of a player some day.
YouTube user bigwhite06