Michael McLeod

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Devils first-round pick McLeod out 4-6 weeks following knee surgery

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Michael McLeod had hoped to stick around with the New Jersey Devils for this season. But after an injury in the preseason against the New York Islanders, his 2017-18 campaign will be further delayed.

The Devils announced on Thursday that the 2016 first-round pick has undergone arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee.

He’s expected to miss four to six weeks.

McLeod posted 21 goals and 61 points in 57 games for the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League in 2015-16 and was selected 12th overall by the Devils in the NHL Draft that summer.

McLeod is still only 19 years old and eligible to return to junior for this season.

Meanwhile, the Devils are off to a 3-0-0 start to the season.

It’s not so much the record that is the surprise, but the early goal totals. New Jersey has tried to beef up its offensive attack with offseason moves each of the past two summers, acquiring Taylor Hall from Edmonton and Marcus Johansson from Washington, and getting the No. 1 overall pick, which they used to take Nico Hischier, in June. So far, they’ve scored 16 goals, an average of 5.33 per game.

Those numbers will surely start to come down as we progress through October and into November, but still, for now that average is second only to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

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