After several days of negotiations, the Colorado Avalanche have come to an agreement with forward Ryan O’Reilly. As reported by TSN’s Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, the two sides agreed on a new two year contract.
The new deal sees Ryan O’Reilly earn $5.8 million this upcoming season and $6.5 million the year after. O’Reilly finished third in points for the Avs with an incredible 64 points in 80 games. As a result of his incredible performance, O’Reilly won the Lady Bing Memorial Trophy.
I believe this signing was a no brainer for the Colorado Avalanche. Ryan O’Reilly fits in perfectly in Colorado and has proven to work well with Captain Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene. He was one of the main reasons the Colorado Avalanche made it to the playoffs this season. With the new contract taken care of, O’Reilly can focus on improving his skills even more and carry the Avalanche into the playoffs again this season.
This kid was a true joy to watch last season. He’s got mind blowing speed, a deadly wrist shot and is fairly good at taking faceoffs as well. Most of his success came on the powerplay last season.
Ryan O’Reilly scored nine powerplay goals and accumulated 22 powerplay points. This kid has been quite successful at using his size to crash the net and make opponents pay. Ryan O’Reilly is the real deal and I’m sure he’ll only improve moving forward. I’m sure Joe Sakic, head Coach Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche are delighted to have him on the team.
With Ryan O’Reilly signed, the Colorado Avalanche now have a number of scoring options to build off. O’Reilly, MacKinnon, Duchene and Landeskog combined for 262 goals this past season. Forwards John Mitchell and Maxime Talbot were excellent go-to guys for Patrick Roy as well, scoring a combined total of 58 goals. Therefore, scoring goals is not an issue for this team.
The issue will be whether or not goalie Semyon Varlamov will be able to steal games for Colorado in the playoffs. Varlamov had an exceptional season last year, winning 41 games and posting a .927 save percentage. But in the playoffs, he seemed to fall apart. He let in two goals per game and did not look good in my opinion. But to be fair two of his four losses came in overtime periods.
Regardless, if he can put together some better playoff performances this year, I believe this team has the potential to go all the way to the Westeran Conference Finals. There is certainly plenty of things to be excited about for Av’s fans this year. I can’t wait to see how far Patrick Roy and his group of talented young guns will go this season.