WHEN IT STARTED
It started in the 2023 NHL Playoffs. Mikey McLeod had a strong two rounds, with one highlight reel goal that he must’ve held with him throughout the summer. Before we discuss what Mike McLeod has been up to, let us delve into where he came from. In the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the Devils had one first round pick. They held the twelfth pick overall in that draft. With hindsight being 20/20, obviously, the Devils would have chosen very differently, but in the year 2016, Mike McLeod went to New Jersey, twelfth overall. McLeod today, at twenty-five years old, is having a different start to the season than usual. His points are at a career-high, but more importantly, you cannot miss him out there. Mike McLeod gained speed over the summer, speed, and skill. He has always had an offensive prowess but has been relegated to a defensive role on the Devils.
HOT OUT OF THE GATE/BIG OPPORTUNITY
As the New Jersey Devils packed up for the summer, it was hard not to remember how good Mike McLeod looked over the past 12 or so games. But as with every season, it was slowly forgotten, which I thought was odd because his name was thrown around a lot before signing a one-year extension with New Jersey. The type of play McLeod has shown us this season is dramatically different from any other season going back to his first in 2018. Three goals and three assists through thirteen games is way above what many would have guessed. Mcleod has a significant opportunity to show his worth on the open market right now while Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier are nursing their injuries. McLeod is a great sleeper in fantasy since he started taking first line Center duties. Regarding fantasy, McLeod was already impressive with faceoff wins. Another stat that is surprising due to the state of his team is that McLeod is currently a plus two. On a Devils team that has a lot of goals cross their goal line, it is pretty hard for any players, especially a player like McLeod, to stay on the positive side of this stat.
McLeod could be working extra hard, knowing he may be leaving New Jersey at the end of the season. At this rate, he may even be a trade piece for a team that needs a solid Center that will win important faceoffs. New Jersey is noticing right now that he is possibly worth more than they thought, and even the fans are hoping at this point that he stays here as part of the core of the Devils. Mcleod has been around for almost as long as Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt before Jack Hughes was drafted. It is hard to say where McLeod will land this coming summer, but I believe most Devils fans hope he stays around. It took a while, but everyone watching can’t help but notice how important McLeod is to the team he represents. Hopefully, the Devils can hold onto McLeod for the long term, if not, trade him at the deadline if he doesn’t sign an extension. Tom Fitzgerald has been a little busy trying to lock Tyler Toffoli in for a few years now, so we will see how it goes. Check out McLeod’s great stickwork in the posted tweet below. For daily New Jersey Devils content, rare clips, videos, giveaways, and more, follow me on X at @DevilsJointYT. You can also find my clips on YouTube at @TheDevilsJoint.