The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to check selections off the list in the second day of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, using a sixth-round pick on Sarnia Sting forward Ryan McGregor.
McGregor is another local kid, hailing from nearby Burlington. As a late January 1999, he’s neither on the young or old side of first-year eligible players. If there’s a knock on him body wise, it’s definitely that he’s on the lankier side, coming in at an averaged-sized 6’0 but weighing just 159 pounds.
Hockey IQ seems to be his strongest asset, according to the mentions of him that scatter the internet. From Inside Halton:
Sting coach Derian Hatcher says what McGregor does is rare.
“He can make those little greasy plays and makes passes in tight spaces,” says the former NHL defenceman. “His overall knowledge of the game — he’s a smart hockey player. The way he thinks the game, you can’t teach that.”
McGregor’s slow season may have a bit to do with injury. He missed most of his potential training time in the offseason thanks to a concussion suffered in his last game of the 2015/16 season, limiting his ability to practice and put on mass.
Prior to that, there were early season whispers of him being at least a second or third round pick, with a chance to make it to the first. It wouldn’t shock me if the Leafs did some digging into his recovery process and feel that there might be some opportunity for him to bounce back in his Draft+1.
McGregor was used on the penalty kill by the Sting at times thanks to his willingness to play the defensive zone, get into dirty areas, and his ability to activate explosive speed.