Flyers Draft Profile: Ryan Leonard

2022 NHL Entry Draft
Hockey team participate during the second day of the 2022 NHL Draft on Friday, July 8, 2022 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)
(Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

Ryan Leonard is one of many USNTDP players making headlines ahead of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

Leonard is the fifth ranked North American skater per NHL Central Scouting. During the 2022-2023 season, he scored 94 points (51G, 43A) in 57 games. In the U18 World Juniors, Leonard tallied 17 points (8G, 9A) in seven games. He scored the game-winner for Team USA to win the tournament.

The Philadelphia Flyers are frequently linked to Leonard. He’ll be on the board when Daniel Briere goes to make his first selection as GM. Leonard checks multiple boxes the Flyers need to fulfill.

Similar to his teammate, Will Smith, Leonard committed to Boston College in 2023-2024.


Standing in at 5’11” and weighing 181lbs, Leonard is a dynamic two-way forward with great versatility. He can play C, RW, and LW. On the USNTDP, he was primarily a C.

Possessing excellent skating ability, Leonard has a quick first step. He can reach his top-end speed to crash the net frequently on scoring chances. With or without the puck, Leonard is quick, agile, and a threat in transition.

Leonard has an accurate and powerful shot. His wrist and snapshot are both lethal due to his quick release. Leonard can snipe corners with deception and demonstrates playmaking abilities with high offensive awareness. Similar to Smith and Zach Benson, Leonard creates space for his teammates and can get creative with his passing.

He has slick hands, a great addition for a two-way forward. Leonard can take on defenders in a one-on-one scenario, and with his skating strength, he’ll win most of those battles.

A few comparisons at the NHL Level include JT Miller, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Travis Konecny.

Flyers' Travis Konecny
Philadelphia Flyers’ Travis Konecny (11) reacts after scoring his third goal during an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


Defensively, Leonard has a solid foundation that’ll require more improvement. He can be caught flat-footed at times, puck watching instead of splitting a passing lane or pursuing. Once he begins to anticipate more plays, which will come with positioning, he’ll become a better asset in the defensive and neutral zone. Until then, Leonard shouldn’t play as aggressive, picking a more calculated time to strike.

Leonard could be described as a two-way forward before being a power forward due to his size. He doesn’t have a large frame like the elite in the NHL. Certainly, Leonard doesn’t fit the bill of a traditional power forward, using his speed and skill instead of looking for a hit. It isn’t a weakness, but if he can become that skater, he’ll compare more to Brady Tkachuk. Leonard could be a constant threat whenever he steps on the ice.

Does he fit Philadelphia?

He most certainly fits the Flyers. Leonard make take a little more time to develop than other USNTDP prospects in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, but has the potential to become a reliable top-six forward.

Like Konecny, Leonard plays with a lot of energy. It makes sense for the Flyers to draft a Boston College commit because of the chemistry that’ll be gathered with Cutter Gauthier. If Smith is off the board when Briere makes the selection, Leonard is a strong possibility.

Flyers' Cutter Gauthier
MADISON, WI – DECEMBER 02: U-18 forward Cutter Gauthier (19) during a college hockey match between the University of Wisconsin Badgers and the U.S. National Under-18 Team on December 2, 2021 at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. (Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire)

It’ll require patience with Leonard in his development, but if he explodes at Boston College with Gauthier, that tandem could be in the NHL soon.

(Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)