While the Flyers defense is young, it looks rather promising. Because of the dearth of young talent at the position, many people are banking on the fact that the Flyers could use a goal scoring power forward. They could really use a powerful center who can drive the play forward. They could also use someone at the wing position, scoring from the flanks. How about a player who can easily slide into all three positions?
Ryan Leonard could be someone who fits into the Flyers’ future plans. The 18-year-old is an American forward from Amherst, MA. He is currently a member of the US Development Team. In 11 games this year, he has scored 11 times with nine assists. Last year, he scored 10 goals in 33 games.
His 20 points this season placed him 12 on the USDT. Now, that may not sound remarkable, but he played in half to a third of the amount of games that the players above him played in. Those players include highly touted and ranked prospects such as Will Smith, Gabriel Perreault, and Oliver Moore…three players who could all go in the top 10.
One of the reasons that Leonard played so few games with the USNTDP team this year is that he spent much of 2022-23 season with the US National Under-18 squad. During his time there, Leonard posted 39 goals and 73 points in 45 games. Not too shabby.
According to one scouting report, his versatility is what makes him stand out:
"“Defensively, Leonard is already showcasing the skillset of a dominant two-way forward. He has a strong ice presence and is able to put himself in the position to make the right play on the puck to generate opportunities for his team. Also, while he doesn’t have the biggest frame at rough 6-foot tall, he plays strong on his skates and is showcasing the ability to knock players off the puck.For 2023-24 and beyond, Leonard is committed to playing hockey at Boston College. This will be the perfect place for him to develop his game over the course of the next three to four years, before taking that next step to the NHL. Given his toolkit, it wouldn’t be surprising to see in break into the league before his 21st birthday.”"
The 6’0 forward is committed to Boston College for next year. At 192 lbs, he’s about the size the Flyers typically like. His versatility makes him very attractive. He could easily slide into a wing spot or handle the puck down the center. He could be a nice sidekick to a player like Cutter Gauthier, Owen Tippett, or even Travis Konecny in a few years. Because of this, it’s a sure thing that Daniel Briere is taking a look at some of his game tape.