The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed forward Ryan O’Reilly to a three-year, entry-level contract. Along with Matt Duchene, the Avalanche has now come to terms with its top two selections from this year’s draft.
“We are pleased to have Ryan under contract,” said Avalanche General Manager Greg Sherman. “He’s had a solid camp and we’re very excited about his future.”
Colorado’s second selection (second round, 33rd overall) in the 2009 Entry Draft, O’Reilly has appeared in two games with the Avalanche so far this preseason (0g/0a, +1). The 6-0, 200-pound center has spent the past two seasons with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, where he served as an assistant captain in 2008-09. O’Reilly, 18, shared the team scoring lead last season with 66 points (16g/50a) in 68 games as he helped the Otters advance to the postseason for the first time in four years.
“I’m thrilled to be signing my first pro contract,” said O’Reilly. “I was anxious to start training camp and so far I have been enjoying this experience. I have already learned a lot in my short time here.”
A native of Clinton, Ontario, O’Reilly served as captain of Team Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in North Dakota.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)