It’s not just college free agents that will be signing, now that junior leagues have also called off the rest of their regular seasons. Ryan McGregor, captain of the Sarnia Sting of the OHL, has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Arizona Coyotes.
McGregor, 21, was actually a sixth-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2017 but failed to sign with them by last summer’s deadline and became an unrestricted free agent. The forward also got a bit of AHL experience with the Toronto Marlies, a league he’ll have to prove himself in next season.
In 52 games with the Sting this season McGregor recorded 27 goals and 68 points, but his future likely comes as more of a defensive option in the middle of the ice. The pivot took more faceoffs than all but four players in the entire OHL this season, while also contributing heavily to the penalty kill.
For the Coyotes, handing out a contract to a player like McGregor doesn’t pose a lot of risk. The team is trying to build a system of success from the minor leagues up, likely valuing his leadership and competitive abilities more than any potential offensive upside.