Finally, it has also been a disappointing season thus far for Oilers’ centre Ryan McLeod. The 2018 second-round draft pick had a breakthrough campaign last season, when he put up career-bests with 11 goals and 23 total points in just 57 games. He entered this season looking to build upon his strong 2022-23, to further solidify his role as the team’s third-line centre.
However, things have certainly not gone to plan so far for McLeod in 2023-24. Almost the entire Oilers’ bottom-six have been struggling this season, as they have accounted for only 14 of the team’s 74 goals so far.
TSN power rankings have ranked all the teams in the NHL. Right now they are showing that the Edmonton Oilers are moving in the right direction.
As a result, secondary scoring has practically been absent for the most part for the Oilers one quarter into the NHL season, with just a glimmer of hope surfacing in recent games. Nevertheless, the biggest dropoff had been the production of McLeod, as he was held goalless all season until he finally netted his first one in the last game, against the Winnipeg Jets.
The Oilers will need a lot more from McLeod and the bottom six in the coming games, if they are to sustain any kind of success this season. Hopefully, with the 24-year-old finally having the monkey off his back with his recent breakout game, he will prove to the Oilers he can be relied upon as a leader and steady producer to stabilize their bottom six.
As already referenced, the Oilers will pick things up again on Wednesday night, with the Hurricanes in town. This is the first game for the three players mentioned to try to make an impact. We don’t expect Pickard to start versus the Hurriances, but we would expect to see him at least once during this homestand. As for McLeod and Brown, all eyes should be on them when they hit the ice to face the Jets.