The Pittsburgh Penguins have claimed center Cal O’Reilly off re-entry waivers from the Phoenix Coyotes.
O’Reilly, 25, has split this season between Phoenix and the Nashville Predators. O’ Reilly has spent the majority of the season with Phoenix, where he has collected five points (2G-3A) in 22 games. In 27 total games this year, O’Reilly has two goals, four assists and six points while averaging 12:53 minutes.
The left-handed forward stands 6’0″ and weighs in at 188 lbs. In parts of three NHL seasons, O’Reilly has 13 goals and 40 assists in 107 games.
While he hasn’t seen too much NHL success, his AHL and junior numbers suggest O’Reilly has some definite upside and untapped potential.
O’Reilly recorded 74- and 99-point seasons (68 games) with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL in 2004-05 and 2005-06, respectively.
The 2005 fifth round pick also has 56 goals and 253 points in 262 career AHL games.
I really like this claim. Both Phoenix and Nashville play suffocating defensive games that never really let their players showcase their offensive talent (see: Kyle Turris). With nothing but a little bit of salary cap space to lose, if O’Reilly can translate his great minor league success into some points at the NHL level, he’ll stick around. A chance to play in Pittsburgh should help him do that.
O’Reilly is on a one-year deal worth $1.05 million and will be a restricted free agent at season’s end.