The trades on the NHL draft day continue. Ryan O’Reilly is finally on the move from the Colorado Avalanche after he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, JT Compher, and the 31st overall pick in tonight’s draft.
There had been speculation earlier today of O’Reilly moving to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Zdeno Chara, but obviously this is a much better haul from Buffalo. The Sabres have been connected to O’Reilly for two years.
Buffalo’s top six forwards currently look like one of the best in the east, with O’Reilly, Evander Kane, Jack Eichel (likely), Matt Moulson, Tyler Ennis, and Sam Reinhart.
The Sabres will need to resign O’Reilly immediately, as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent, but that is likely seeing they traded so much for him.
At 24 years old, O’Reilly has been a stud in the NHL with the Avalanche. He had 55 points in 82 games last season and has been unable to come to terms with the Avalanche for some time.
Mikhail Grigorenko had six points in 25 games last season and was the 12th overall pick by the Sabres in 2012. Nikita Zadorov was the Sabres 16th overall pick in 2013 and he played in 60 games with Buffalo this past season. He had 15 points and 51 penalty minutes.
JT Compher was a second round pick for Buffalo in 2013. He played with Michigan this past season along with fellow top prospect Dylan Larkin. Hockey’s Future had this to say about Compher.
"Compher is an undersized energy player who is a fierce competitor. He possesses above average skill in all facets of the game though his greatest strength is his skating ability. He plays well away from the puck, using his speed to backcheck and forecheck and finishes his checks consistently. He is not an offensively gifted player but can score goals on a regular basis."
The Avalanche got just about the best deal that they could with the circumstances around O’Reilly, and the Sabres get even better.
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