Congratulations to Lakers alumnus Ryan O'Reilly
who was selected 33rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the NHL 2009 Draft in Montreal this weekend.
Colorado had picked #3 ranked Matt Duchene with their first pick of the first round (3rd overall) and then went and used their first pick in the second round to continue to strengthen their forward depth by picking O'Reilly.
“In our minds, we had valued Ryan as a first round pick,” noted Avalanche Director of Amateur Scouting Rick Pracey so the Avalanche were pleased to be able to pick up O'Reilly with their second pick.
O'Reilly is known as a player who is very responsible in his own end and owns an incredible work ethic. He also has impressive strength, as his 18 reps at 150 pounds on the bench press tied for the most among the 94 players tested at the NHL Scouting Combine.
Opposing coaches were obviously impressed by his game too, as he finished in the top three in a trio of categories when voting was conducted for the 2009 OHL Western Conference Coaches Poll. O’Reilly was voted as the conference’s “Best Penalty Killer,” finished second in the “Best on Faceoffs” category and tied for third place with No. 1 overall selection John Tavares in the “Best Playmaker” voting.
In addition, he has the type of athletic bloodlines many NHL teams crave. His older brother, Cal (also a Lakers alumnus), was a fifth round pick of the Nashville Predators in 2005 and enjoyed an 11-game NHL stint in 2008-09. His sister, Tara, is the captain of the Carleton University women’s hockey team.
O’Reilly served as an assistant captain for Erie during the 2008-09 season and helped lead the club to its first postseason berth since 2005 by recording 66 points (16 goals and 50 assists) in 68 games. He participated in both the 2009 OHL All-Star Classic and the CHL Top Prospects Game. He won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka tournament and also served as Canada’s captain at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
What They’re Saying About O’Reilly
NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards
"He's very responsible defensively. He backchecks hard and he's very good at identifying his check in his own end. He's very good at the defensive end of the game."
OHL Erie Otters GM Sherry Bassin
"He's a special player. He's nowhere near the level he's going to be. He really accepts the challenge of getting better. He really believes in the team winning, not himself. I haven't had a kid that's so focused on preparation and just working on getting better. He's got such a work ethic you almost have to pull him away. We always talk about the will to prepare -- well, he's got a phenomenal will to prepare."
Click on the player below to hear Ryan's comments after the Draft on what he'd still like to work on:
- info and images from the Colorado Avalanche and NHL.com
- audio from am920 CKNX radio