Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O'Reilly

(Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

Blues Acquire Ryan O'Reilly In Blockbuster Trade

The St. Louis Blues have dealt two draft picks and three players for forward Ryan O'Reilly.

July 01, 2018 - 8:00 pm
Categories: 

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The St. Louis Blues have completed a trade with the Buffalo Sabres for forward Ryan O'Reilly and have sent forwards Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson to Buffalo, as well as a first round draft pick in 2019 and a second round draft pick in 2021. 

Related story: Blues Trade For O'Reilly Sets Up Bright Future in St. Louis

O'Reilly, 27, was originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche, 33rd overall, in the 2009 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft.  Last season, the 6'1, 216-pound centerman appeared in 81 games with Buffalo, tallying 61 points, including 24 goals and 37 assists.  O'Reilly is a four-time 20-goal scorer and has recorded 55 or more points in six seasons, including each of the last five.  In 2013-14, he logged a career-high 64 points while only serving two penalty minutes, earning the 2014 Lady Byng Trophy.  In 2015-16, O'Reilly was selected to the NHL All-Star Game before finishing the year with a career-best 39 assists and 60 points overall.  Overall, he is a veteran of nine NHL seasons, including six with Colorado and three with Buffalo.  O'Reilly has posted 422 points, including 155 goals and 267 assists, in 651 career regular season games, as well as seven points (three goals, four assists) in 13 career postseason games.

One person this moves greatly effects is forward prospect Robert Thomas, who coming into Sunday was possibly going to be counted on to be NHL-ready at the start of the season. But the acquisitions of O'Reilly and center Tyler Bozak (free agent) on Sunday, allow for Blues president of hockey operations Doug Armstrong to be more patient with Thomas. 

"What I said to Mike (Yeo) was in an ideal world (Thomas) gets his feet under him and by Christmas he's centering and maybe Ryan slides over to the left side and gives us more power," Armstrong says. "So we're excited about the depth we have here in a very important position." 

Internationally, the Clinton, Ontario, native is a three-time gold medalist with Team Canada.  O'Reilly captured gold in back-to-back years at the 2015 and 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships, totaling 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) in 20 combined tournament games.  He also earned gold at the 2017 World Cup of Hockey, where he dressed in six games.  That same year, O'Reilly collected nine points (six goals, three assists) in 10 games at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, capturing a silver medal.  Additionally, O'Reilly has represented Canada at the 2012, 2013 and 2018 IIHF World Championships.

Berglund, 30, was originally drafted by the Blues, 25th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.  In 10 seasons with the Blues, the 6'4, 219-pound forward collected 322 points (168 goals, 154 assists) and 242 penalty minutes in 694 regular season games.  Berglund is a native of Vasteras, Sweden.

Sobotka, 30, originally joined the Blues via trade from the Boston Bruins on June 26, 2010.  Across nine NHL seasons, including six with the Blues, the 5'10, 184-pound forward has tallied 155 points (47 goals, 108 assists) in 463 regular season games.  Sobotka is a native of Trebic, Czech Republic.

Thompson, 20, was originally drafted by the Blues, 26th overall, in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.  Last season, his first in the NHL, the 6'5, 205-pound forward recorded nine points (three goals, six assists) in 41 regular season games.  The Phoenix, Arizona, native also posted 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 30 regular season games with the Blues' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.