Ryan Leonard has the potential to be a future Hall of Famer

Ryan Leonard, Washington Capitals (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Ryan Leonard, Washington Capitals (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Ryan Leonard hasn’t even stepped on NHL ice and he’s already a legend. At least among United States hockey fans.

The Washington Capitals first rounder, taken at eighth overall thanks to a successful tank job, was already known thanks to his golden goal in overtime to bestow his country a gold medal over Sweden.


Even Leonard himself admits getting drafted by the Caps is his second best moment in his hockey career thus far. Though it may be a couple years before we see him in Capitals red, white, and blue. He’s expected to play this fall at Boston College. He’ll be joining five other USNTDP teammates.

“Don’t really know the timeline (to the NHL),” Leonard explained. “Just want to stay patient and make the right choice… I want to have a good however many years I’m there and set myself up.”

Leonard will be focusing on leading the Eagles to glory in the meantime before he has his sights set to the big club.

Leonard put on a show at the Caps annual summer development camp. Many fans, reporters and personnel described his shot as the hardest in camp. Some folks also noted the speed and deception of his release caught goalies by surprise.

Ryan Chesley, a defenseman taken by the Caps in last year’s draft, said this on Leonard’s shot:

“He can kind of release it from anywhere on the ice, and it’s tough to defend. It’s an NHL ready shot.”

Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney, who was high on Leonard I the draft, added:

"“He showed why we were so pleased to get him. Strong. Explosive. I think I said before, after the draft, his shot, and it was on display here. … It’s not only accurate, not only does he have a quick release, but he has such a heavy shot. He is very competitive. He’s not afraid to take the puck to the net, and he’ll score goals in those tougher areas. Really, really happy with him.”"

More. A way too early 2024 Capitals NHL mock draft. light

He’s going to be a stud in a couple of years and could be one of the biggest faces in getting the Caps back to greatness in the post Ovi era.