‘Domino Effect’ Of Celebrini To Sharks Could Lead Leonard To Capitals Sooner Rather Than Later

Could the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft push the Capitals to sign Leonard as soon as next season?
Capitals prospect Ryan Leonard off to roaring start at Boston College

Though Ryan Leonard has already declared for his sophomore season at Boston College, the Washington Capitals prospect could potentially end up in D.C. sooner rather than later.

Per The Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli and Colby Cohen, Celebrini going No. 1 to the Sharks, who won the NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday, could lead to a “domino effect,” which would lead to Will Smith signing with San Jose. That, in turn, could lead to the Capitals pushing harder to sign Leonard, who could choose to sign his entry-level deal rather than return to B.C. for his sophomore season.

“That’s the next guy to keep your eye on. Because when Smith signs to go to the NHL, you better believe the Washington Capitals are turning up the heat on Ryan Leonard and they’re gonna try to get him to sign as well,” Cohen said on Daily Faceoff Live on Wednesday. “All of this domino effect comes from Celebrini signing with the Sharks.”

Leonard chose not join Washington for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as he indicated his desire to go back to B.C. after the team fell to Denver in the NCAA Championship Game.

Capitals top prospect Ryan Leonard is returning to Boston College - NBC Sports

“Ryan Leonard indicated his desire to return for his sophomore season at Boston College. We support Ryan’s decision to return to one of the best programs in the nation to continue his development,” general manager Brian MacLellan said in April. “Ryan showed great leadership and made tremendous progress during his first year, which saw him score the most goals by a freshman in Boston College program history and the third-most goals in the NCAA. We will continue to monitor his development and progress next year and look forward to watching Ryan build upon his successful freshman season.”

Leonard put up tremendous numbers in his first season with the Eagles, scoring 31 goals and adding 29 assists for 60 points in 41 games.

The 2024 NHL Draft takes place from June 28-29 at the Sphere in Las Vegas, and from there, it’ll be seen if the “domino effect” takes place.

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