Pat Leahy: Long Shot to Hot Shot

By Michael Theodore
Take one look at Pat Leahy’s stats and it is easy to go gaga thinking about him becoming a solid power foward. Take a look at his numbers and the picture comes into focus better. At 6’3 and 215 pounds, the right handed shooting Leahy certainly has the ability to make the show. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact just a year ago Leahy was seen as your typical mid round player with virtually no chance of making the show.

A fifth round pick back in the ’98 draft, Leahy was seen as a kid worth taking a flyer on. The Miami of Ohio player was regarded as a kid with good skills and descent skating ability, and if given time capable of evolving into a real player. Tall and lanky he didn’t have an overpowering physical game and he surely wasn’t a game breaking scorer but the Rangers had faith he could develop his skills over time in the Miami of Ohio program.

The first year did not exactly net the offensive results that the Rangers had hoped for, but still there was a level of improvement. He just wasn’t looking like a minor league player, let alone a potential pro player. Finally something clicked his Junior year. More responsibility, more ice time. Leahy got more comfortable with his body and used it more effectively. The result was 37 points in 34 games as Leahy started to look like a solid player.

Heading into his final year of college hockey, Leahy is undoubtedly aiming to make an impression on the Rangers to sign him and give him a shot at his NHL dream. With slightly above average speed and agility and an increased frame, Leahy is aiming at landing a spot with the blueshirts sometime in the not so distant future. He stands an increasing chance of getting there with his true heart work ethic. He could probably become a Mike Knuble work the corners type third line winger. His top end in the NHL would probably be around 40 points and 20 goals. More than likely he will be an older rookie when and if he does make it to the show. But keep an eye on him, he might just surprise you.