By Phil Janack
The Daily Gazette
TROY, N.Y. — Until being rediscovered by the Albany River Rats last week, center Kiel McLeod had gone 221⁄2 months between AHL games.
Judging by the initial impression with his new team, it’s hard to imagine why.
Standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 235 pounds, the 25-year-old McLeod has made a huge impression with the Rats on sheer size alone.
He has also shown an amazing ability to win faceoffs and a knack for fitting seamlessly into a group of players that has, more or less, been together all season.
“I’m a little bit more comfortable, but you can’t get complacent,” McLeod said following practice Tuesday at RPI’s Houston Field House. “I just want to come to the rink every day and work hard, and do what the coaches ask of me. The key in this league, and when you’re up, is to be consistent. I’m just looking forward to this week, and trying to do the same thing.”
Albany (35-24-1-3) puts its seven-game winning streak on the line Wednesday at Binghamton. The Rats are unbeaten in their last eight in regulation, falling in OT at Rochester on Feb. 20.
Captain of the ECHL’s Victoria (British Columbia) Salmon Kings the past two seasons, McLeod signed a standard player’s contract Feb. 27, and has had points (2-1-3) in all three games he’s played since his debut last Friday in Springfield.