OHL Prospect Profile: Alec Leonard

– Alec Leonard –

Mississauga Reps (GTHL) | Defence | 2020 OHL Draft Eligible

Toronto, Ontario | 5-foot-11, 170-pounds | May 13th, 2004

The Mississauga Reps have come to be regarded as one of the stingiest defensive squads in the GTHL in 2019-20, a reality which surely would not have been made possible if not for the presence of Alec Leonard. After competing for the Toronto Marlboros and Jr. Canadiens in recent years, Leonard has jumped to the Reps in his Minor Midget campaign and hasn’t looked back — playing shutdown defence on a nightly basis while making his opponents painfully aware of his presence.

Related: All OHL Draft Rankings

Although he is of relatively average size, Leonard is strong on his skates and loves to throw his weight about. When opposing forwards attempt to rush the puck down the left-wing of the ice, Leonard will read the play as it develops and — when the situation permits — he will lower the boom in order to separate his man from the puck and ensure possession for his team. Leonard’s physical abilities — amongst his other talents — combine to make him one of the more intriguing players eligible for the upcoming 2020 OHL Entry Draft.

Strengths:

  • Skating Strength, Agility and Speed
  • Innate Offensive Instincts
  • Playmaking and Passing Abilities
  • Physicality and Intimidation

The foundation of Leonard’s game lays in his skating strength, agility and speed — the youngster can traverse the ice with ease and a purpose regardless of the foes in his path. Capable of rushing the puck into the opposing zone in addition to his ability to smother attacking forwards owing to his quick feet, Leonard’s mobility fuels his game and, in turn, his lethality. It is Leonard’s lethality at both ends of the ice which makes him a truly outstanding young prospect to watch, as his ability to dismantle plays devised by his opposition before transitioning or rushing the puck up ice fuels his ever growing offensive game.

One crucial aspect of Leonard’s offensive game — and his play as a whole — is his ability to move the puck quickly and with consistent precision. Whether he is holding the puck in his defensive zone or skating through neutral territory, Leonard regularly fires crisp and effective passes to his fellow teammates which allows his squad to gain ground and develop quality scoring chances. In addition to his strong skating, innate offensive instincts, and ability to see the ice and move the puck, there is Leonard’s electrifying physicality. As it stands, Leonard is one of the premier open-ice hitters eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft — not only are his hits clean, but he effectively separates his man from the puck without compromising his team’s stance defensively.

Areas of Improvement:

  • Shot Penetration
  • Teammate Utilization

While Leonard is unquestionably one of the top prospects eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft, he isn’t without room for improvement. Firstly, there is Leonard’s ability to fire the puck on net from the blue line. While his shot strength is certainly adequate, we’d like to see Leonard push the puck through traffic and on to the goal with a greater degree of consistency — the ability to do so will generate rebounds and further offensive opportunities for his team.

Related: GTHL Player Profiles

Secondly, there is Leonard’s utilization of his fellow teammates. Now, while Leonard is certainly a strong team player, he can — at times — attempt to do too much on his own. While Leonard’s ability to generate offence is one of his strong suits, he will need to be careful as he ascends to higher levels of play — opposing players will read his rushes and force turnovers with a greater degree of frequency, too.

Future Projection:

At the end of the day, Leonard stands as one of the top defenders eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft. Of great size, strength and two-way abilities, Leonard has the ability to influence the outcome of any given game with a startling level of consistency. In the near future, expect Leonard to develop into a top-pairing defenceman at the OHL-level and beyond — and one capable of stabilizing his team’s effort at both ends of the ice.

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