With the announcement that Devin Shore will be out of action for 4-6 weeks after sustaining a lower-body injury on Friday, the Oilers made a corresponding move on Monday and recalled center Ryan McLeod from the AHL. McLeod started the season with the team but failed to make an impact. He’ll get another shot to see if he can improve his fortune and help the Oilers maintain a hot start to the 2021-22 season.
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While there’s still plenty of time and patience for the speedy center, the Oilers were expecting bigger things out of McLeod. Having gotten a cup of coffee in the NHL after a strong 2020-21 season in Bakersfield, he was called up and played with speed but failed to produce any points. He showed well enough that the Oilers felt he could offer something this season and made the team out of training camp. He only played two games to start the season, but he failed to produce in limited minutes.
Meanwhile, Shore was playing strong two-way hockey, killing penalties for the Oilers and helping in the depth role. He had one goal and one assist in eight games and while the fourth line wasn’t playing a lot 5-on-5, it was starting to get more responsibility. In short, Shore had clearly won the spot over McLeod and was earning his ice time.
The Oilers still had high hopes for the young center, hoping he would produce strong numbers in the AHL and come back when ready. Shore’s injury brings McLeod back a bit earlier than expected.
With five points in seven games so far this year, McLeod does have offensive skill. The trick will be whether or not he can turn that kind of offense into something that will help the Oilers in their bottom six.
Next: Colorado Avalanche Willing to Trade D Samuel Girard
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