Milwaukee, WI— Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the team has signed forward John Leonard to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level.
Leonard was acquired along with San Jose’s third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft by the Predators from the Sharks on July 8 for forward Luke Kunin. He spent the bulk of 2021-22 with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda, where he tied for third on his team in goals with 17 and was fifth in points with 32 (17g-15a). The 5-foot-11, 196-pound left wing recorded seven multi-point contests in the AHL, including three in a five-game span from March 2-11 (6g-5a), helping him earn his second NHL call up of the season. Skating in his second professional campaign, Leonard tallied two points (1g-1a) in 14 games at the NHL level with San Jose after appearing in 44 as a rookie in 2020-21, compiling 13 points (3g-10a).
Originally drafted by San Jose in the sixth round (182nd overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft, Leonard enjoyed a decorated NCAA career at UMass Amherst prior to turning pro, recording 105 points (56g-49a) in 106 games from 2017-20. In his final collegiate season in 2019-20, he led the Minutemen in goals (27) and points (37) en route to being named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, presented to the nation’s top player. That same season, he collected multiple other honors, including a spot on the NCAA East’s First All-American Team; the Hockey East First All-Star Team; and the All-USCHO Third Team. As a sophomore in 2018-19, the Westwood, N.J., native produced at a point-per-game rate, posting 40 points (16g-24a) in 40 games; he also notched 28 points (13g-15a) as a freshman in 2017-18.