o'reilly

 

I hate missing guys. I’m not talking about the guys who, after a few years you write off and then they explode from out of nowhere (right, Dustin Penner?). Those guys are players who – at one time or another – I have already formed an idea in my head where their potential is at. Even if I have since changed my mind, like with Penner, I can always change it back.

 

No, it’s the players who I didn’t see coming in the first place that get to me. The examples that come to mind are Milan Hejduk (I was so blinded by Chris Drury’s impending arrival that I didn’t think much of Hejduk’s upside), Patrice Bergeron (was off my radar when he came to camp as an 18-year-old) and Mike Richards. I knew Richards was coming and I knew he would be good – but only 70-point good. Now we have another one. Colorado forward Ryan O’Reilly.

 

One thing I’ve learned is not to be so skeptical early on and learn to embrace the trend. With Hejduk, I wrote off his second season of 72 points as a fluke, but grudgingly admitted he would be a 65 or 70-point player. After 79 the next season, I still felt he overachieved.  Two years later he had 98 points. With Richards I was a little better – I bought in about 10 games into last season, after he already had a 75-point year under his belt.

 

With O’Reilly, I had him pegged a third-line checker who would fit in nicely behind Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny. He could potentially do what Michal Handzus did for the Flyers and produce about 55 points a season. While his two-way skills (and 200-pound frame) saw to it that he cracked a desperate Colorado lineup as an 18-year-old, his production has been off the charts. Nine points in his last seven games and he is a plus-10 in that span. Only five players in the entire league have more points than he does in the last 14 days. He is tied for the rookie points lead (see below for rookie standings).

 

While it seems as though O’Reilly is well on his way to being a Calder contender and flirt with 65 or 70 points, the season is far too early for that talk. The wind will come out of Colorado’s sails eventually and when that happens, O’Reilly will come down to Earth. I don’t think he’ll make it to 55 in 2009-10, but one thing that has come of this is that I won’t downplay his long-term upside. He may still be what I’ve always pegged him at, but I won’t be ruling out 85 points at some time in his career. Lesson learned.

 

Meanwhile…

 

Michael Grabner seems to have adjusted to the pro life and it’s showing at the NHL level. With Daniel Sedin on the shelf, Grabner has been recalled and he has four points in five contests. Now the news that Kyle Wellwood is out (broken toe) and Sergei Shirokov has been recalled, the Canucks hope for double the magic from their two rookie snipers.

 

Rookie Standings as of October 25 games:

Player

Pos

Age

GP

G

A

Pts

+/-

1

M. Del Zotto, NYR

D

19

11

4

6

10

3

2

R. O'Reilly, Col

C

18

11

2

8

10

10

3

J. Benn, Dal

LW/RW

20

11

3

5

8

4

4

J. Demers, SJ

D

21

11

0

8

8

5

5

J. Tavares, NYI

C

19

9

3

4

7

-4

6

J. van Riems, Phi

LW

20

6

1

6

7

3

7

M. Duchene, Col

C

18

11

1

5

6

-3

8

T. Galiardi, Col

C/LW

21

11

1

5

6

3

9

A. Anisimov, NYR

C

21

11

2

3

5

-2

10

N. Bergfors, NJ

RW

22

9

2

3

5

0

11

E. Kane, Atl

LW/C

18

8

3

2

5

3

12

T. Myers, Buf

D

19

8

2

3

5

8

13

M. Grabner, Van

LW/RW

22

5

1

3

4

-2

14

V. Hedman, TB

D

18

9

0

4

4

1

15

P. Regin, Ott

C

23

6

2

2

4

4

16

D. Drewiske, LA

D

24

11

1

2

3

7

17

B. Ferriero, SJ

C/RW

22

11

2

1

3

-1

18

M. Gilroy, NYR

D

25

11

2

1

3

4

19

E. Karlsson, Ott

D

19

9

0

3

3

-4

20

T. Kennedy, Buf

C/LW

23

8

0

3

3

2

21

D. Kulikov, Fla

D

18

9

0

3

3

-7

22

V. Leino, Det

LW/RW

26

9

2

1

3

-3

23

R. Stone, Edm

W/C

24

8

0

3

3

-2

24

T. Wandell, Dal

C

22

11

2

1

3

-1

 

 

 


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Comments (3)add comment

gregory churchill said:

spitball
... the penners bother me a lot more than the o'reilly's. each year, i try and do better than the last, when it comes to over-coming my prejudices. my prejudices lead to blind-spots and lazy analysis, which leads to missed opportunity. " he's lazy, slow, full of beer, and his wallet is too fat. "

i have to continually remind myself to remain fluid in my assessment of a player's potential.

circumstances change for players and that directly effects their performance. time in the league ( the forth season beak-out for forwards ), coaching changes, off-season fitness, a power-skating program. even the maturing of line-mates and/or team-mates.

however, every year, i miss players that emerge and become dominant, because i've already got them 'pegged'. i've already made up my mind. a costly strategic error which repeats.

gotta learn to force myself, in all situations, to ask, " is this really player A ?", or just a slot i've fit him into because i don't want to do all the work required to reassess him. even though, like penner, lots has changed since i 'made up my mind' about him last year.
October 25, 2009
Votes: +0

Sam said:

Sam
What about Peverley? Peverley seems to be a guy that nobody wants to admit he's for real either.
October 25, 2009
Votes: +0

Rob Budde said:

rbudde
rookie snooker I think it is easy to overestimate the impact a rookie will make. There are so many factors that come into play: injuries, ice-time, fatigue, power-play time, etc. You look at that list and it is easy to project that 15 players will get over 50 points (based on pts/gp). Not going to happen. Last year only two made it to 50 pts (Ryan and Versteeg) and remember how many rookies were pegged for success ahead of those two? Those flickers of brilliance taunted and made poolies jump. I picked Turris thinking Phoenix was so starved for talent he'd get that unusual rookie shot at full-season success. Erm, wrong. I am betting only two will make it over 50 again. But which two? Tavares I suppose is safe for 55 or so. Even for keeper leagues, the risk that a few of these will fall off the map is too great. Wait for more confirmation; they still have to prove something.
October 25, 2009
Votes: +1
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