Friday, July 9, 2010

Brahmas add McLeod to 2010-11 roster

Speedy center is a huge scoring threat

The Texas Brahmas announced a huge signing today - former Colorado Eagle center Ryan McLeod is joining the 2010-11 campaign.

The 25-year-old native of Fernie, British Columbia has been described as "a fleet-of-foot skater who whizzes by opposing defensemen at the blue line and has the necessary puck-handling skills to avoid a cluster of them wherever he is out on the ice."

"He’s confident with what he can do with the puck, but that speed, that speed that’s going to scare a lot of defensemen; that’s going to help him out a lot," former coach Kevin McClellandsaid.

Sound good to you? Well it should - think of another Kinnunen on the ice...could a team be so lucky? When you see this guy skate, you'll see what I mean. Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong
recognized how valuable McLeod would be to the Brahmas and was elated to sign him up for the coming season.

"Ryan has proven to be a great player on the ice in this league, so we look forward to seeing what he can do for us," Wildfong said.

McLeod played two seasons of Junior A hockey with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL), scoring 119 points (57 G, 62 A) with 136 penalty minutes. He had 77 points (35 G, 42 A) in the 2003-04 season, playing alongside Texas Brahmas defenseman Tyrell Mason.

He spent the next two seasons playing for the University of Alaska - Fairbanks (NCAA), scoring 39 points (17 G, 22 A) in 49 games. He was named to the CCHA Super Six All-Tournament Team in March 2005 and also set a CCHA record for fastest goal scored and fastest back-to-back goals in a 6-3 win during the first round of playoffs in his freshman year.

During his sophomore season, McLeod signed with the Victoria Salmon Kings (ECHL) to wrap up the 2005-06 season. He played in a limited role in 13 games.

He spent his rookie season with the New Mexico Scorpions, playing alongside former Fort Worth Brahmas defenseman Vladimir Hartinger and former Texas Brahmas goalie David Cacciola. He was named to the CHL All-Rookie team after tallying 64 points (24 G, 40 A) and 46 penalty minutes in 64 games played. In the post-season, he added 10 more points (4 G, 6 A) in 10 games - that's a point per game average in 74 straight contests!

McLeod crossed the pond for the 2007-08 season, playing for the Geleen Smoke Eaters (Hlnd), in the Dutch Eredivisie, the highest-level hockey division in the Netherlands. He was the second leading scorer on the team, putting up 42 points (14 G, 28 A) and 110 penalty minutes in 29 games played. Yeah, that's 1.45 points per contest. The Smoke Eaters finished 4th in the league that season.

In 2008-09, he joined Olofströms IK in Sweden and tallied 48 points (21 G, 27 A) and 65 penalty minutes in 31 games played. Joining the Rocky Mountain Rage in late February of 2009, McLeod went right to work, scoring a goal in his first game and finishing the regular season out with 10 points (6 G, 4A) in 10 games. In the first round of the playoffs against the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, he had a goal and an assist in four games played.

Last summer, when word that the Rage were suspending operations, McLeod was considering going back to Europe when he received a call from Colorado Eagles head coach Kevin McClelland. He wound up signing to play with the Eagles and posted 58 points (21 G, 37 A) and 34 penalty minutes in 64 regular season games. He added a goal and an assist in four post-season contests (against the Mudbugs again).

Take a look at a couple of great videos of McLeod here and here.

Photo Credit: Les Stockton/Pro Hockey News

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