The Buffalo Sabres have agreed to trade Center Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues. The Sabres receive the Blues first round pick in 2019, their second-round pick in 2021, prospect Tage Thompson, centre Patrik Berglund, and versatile forward Vladimir Sobotka.
Hearing Ryan O'Reilly has been traded to the St. Louis Blues
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 2, 2018
ROR for a 1st in 2019, 2nd in 2021, Thompson, Berglund and Sobotka. #stlblues
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) July 2, 2018
Buffalo Sabres Trade Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues
The Buffalo Sabres have completed a trade with the St. Louis Blues on July 1st. The Blues receive Ryan O’Reilly.
In O’Reilly, the Blues get a veteran center who is over 50 percent in his career on faceoffs. They also get a big body who is able to produce 20-25 goals for them each season. He has also shown that he can take advantage of the man advantage scoring 15 goals this year on the power play. This past season, he scored 24 goals and 37 assists for 61 points in 81 games. He only committed one minor penalty this season. His possession numbers were 50.8 percent Corsi-For with a relative Corsi of +4.1.
During his nine-year NHL career, O’Reilly has played for the Colorado Avalanche and Buffalo Sabres. He has scored 155 goals and 267 assists for 422 career points in 651 career games. He was originally drafted in the second round, 33rd overall in the 2009 NHL Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. O’Reilly won the Byng Trophy back in 2013-2014.
What This Means for the Future
O’Reilly currently has four years left on his seven-year, $52.5 million dollar contract with an AAV of $7.5 million per year. He signed this contract in July 2015. This means that St. Louis will have O’Reilly for the next few years and possibly be able to build a line around him. Expect O’Reilly to get top-six minutes with the Blues and to play against opponent’s top lines. This year he averaged close to 21 minutes of ice-time per game with the Sabres.
Thompson, 20, was the Blues first round pick, 26th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. The right wing/centre played in 41 games for the Blues last season, scoring three goals and six assists for nine points. In 30 games for the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL, he put up 10 goals and eight assists for 18 points.
From Ben Kerr’s Scouting Report: “At 6’5″ tall Thompson has the size, and uses it to his full advantage in playing a power forward’s game. He is often the first one in on the fore check, pressuring defenders into mistakes. He works very well down low, below the hash marks, cycling the puck and getting to the front of the net. Once there he can tip in pucks, pounce on rebounds, or fire in a pass from a teammate. Thompson also has an excellent one-timer, and a strong wrist shot with a good release, allowing him to score from further out.
While his stickhandling is good, and Thompson protects the puck well using his body on the cycle, he is a straight ahead kind of player, going directly from point a to point b, and not one to try overly creative plays. His assists mainly come from hard work in the corners, digging out loose pucks and making smart, safe passes to teammates.”
Berglund, 30, played in 57 games for the Blues last year, putting up 17 goals and nine assists for 26 points. His possession numbers were 52.8 percent Corsi-For and relative Corsi of +1.3. The Swedish centre has scored 168 goals and 154 assists for 322 points in 694 career NHL games. He is entering the second year of a five-year contract with an AAV of $3.85 million per year.
Sobotka, 30, played in 81 games for the Blues last season, scoring 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points. The Czech-born forward has the versatility to play all three forward positions, but would likely help the Sabres most at left wing. He put up a 49.4 percent Corsi-for last season with a relative Corsi of -3.0. In 463 career NHL games, Sobotka has scored 47 goals and 108 assists for 155 points. He is entering the second year of a three-year contract with an AAV of $3.5 million per season.
Main Photo: NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 23: Ryan O’Reilly #90 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on December 23, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Sabres 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)