2023 Capitals First-Round Pick Stays in College

Despite speculation about turning pro after a standout freshman year, Ryan Leonard has decided to return to Boston College for his sophomore season, as announced by Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan, to continue his development in a successful program where he had a record-breaking first year.

After a standout freshman year at Boston College and with the Capitals eyeing the playoffs, there was buzz. Could Ryan Leonard, the hot prospect, jump to pro and join Washington for the postseason drama? Turns out, nope. GM Brian MacLellan made it clear in a statement. Leonard’s sticking with college for year two.

“Ryan Leonard wants another year at Boston College,” MacLellan shared. He’s all in for developing further in one of the top programs out there. And why not? The kid’s a leader. His freshman year? Stellar. He netted more goals than any freshman before him at Boston College. Plus, he ranked third in NCAA goals. “We’re keeping an eye on him,” MacLellan added, hinting at big expectations for Leonard’s next season.

Leonard, just 19 and already turning heads since his eighth overall pick last June, is on a roll. Playing 41 games this season, he’s racked up 31 goals and 29 assists. That’s not just impressive; it’s top-tier, placing him third in team scoring and fourth across all NCAA Division I players. His contribution was crucial for Boston College’s journey to the Frozen Four finals, even though they fell short against the University of Denver.

Looking ahead, Leonard’s got big plans for the Eagles. Despite losing Cutter Gauthier to the pros, the team’s not short on talent. They’ve still got Will Smith and Gabe Perreault. Both are high-scoring first-rounders from the previous year. With these guys, Boston College is eyeing another deep run next season. They’ve got the core to make it happen.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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