As Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals celebrate their historic Stanley Cup win, the rest of the league is focused on next season and teams are ramping up for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Ryan McLeod and Jacob Ingham are two members of the Mississauga Steelheads hoping to hear their names called in Dallas, Texas this weekend.
Mississauga born McLeod is hoping to follow his brother’s footsteps in becoming a first round selection after Michael McLeod was picked 12th overall in 2016. Standing at 6’2” and 206 pounds, the speedy centre finished the 2017-18 OHL season with 26 goals and 44 assists for 70 points in 68 games, good for third on the team in scoring. McLeod is ranked 16th by NHL Central Scouting among North American skaters. He will likely become a late first round pick this year, and with the 17th overall pick, there is a chance the New Jersey Devils could reunite Ryan and Michael McLeod once again.
Ingham could become the second goalie in Steelheads history to be chosen in the NHL Entry Draft, the only other being Spencer Martin (COL) in 2013. After a strong rookie season in 2016-17 (2.69 goals against average, .907 save percentage), Ingham saw his numbers dip in his sophomore year with Mississauga. He finished with a 16-22-2 record, posting a 3.65 goals against average and a .880 save percentage. Ingham’s size (6’4”, 191 pounds) is already comparable to NHL goalies. He is ranked 13th by NHL Central Scouting among North American goalies.
Ingham and McLeod were two of the 104 players who were invited to the NHL Scouting Combine which was held in Buffalo, NY earlier this month. The NHL Scouting Combine provides an opportunity for teams to meet and interview prospects as well as see them physically tested in an off-ice setting before the draft takes place. Ingham, a top-10 finisher in three categories, was one of the prominent OHLers at the combine.
After not having any Steelheads players drafted in 2014 and 2015, seven Steelheads have been picked in the previous two drafts, including three first round picks in M. McLeod (NJD), Alex Nylander (BUF) and Owen Tippett (FLA). Since the Steelheads joined the OHL in 2012-13, there have been eight players drafted by NHL teams. Outside of the previously mentioned players, Nicolas Hague (VGK), Nathan Bastian (NJD), Sean Day (NYR), and Austin Osmanski (BUF) round out the list of NHL drafted Steelheads.
First round selections will be made on June 22, while rounds two through seven are made on June 23.