Before Monday’s trade deadline GM Jason Botterill sent Evander Kane to the San Jose Sharks for Danny O’Regan a conditional 1st Rd Pick in 2019 (really a conditional 2nd) and a conditional 4th in 2019.
While the return was a bit underwhelming, Sabres fans shouldn’t act like O’Regan is a bum, or a wasted prospect. The 24-year-old kid can play.
The Sharks drafted O’Regan in the 2012 NHL Draft, selecting him in the 5th round 138th overall, he would then go to the NCAA where he would develop into the player he is today.
O’Regan went to Boston University, and began his NCAA career in 2012-13 by scoring 16 goals and 22 assists for 38 points in 39 games. He used his freshman season to help launch a successful NCAA career.
O’Regan appeared in 154 games while at BU, scoring 66 goals and adding 88 assists for 154 points. Sabres fans already know O’Regan played with Evan Rodrigues and Jack Eichel while at BU, so he has some familiarity with members of the Sabres organization.
After his senior season at BU he joined the Sharks, appearing in three NHL games and scoring once, but his real success in his first pro season was in the AHL. For the Barracuda O’Regan scored 23 goals and 35 assists for 58 points in 63 games.
O’Regan finished off his first pro season with seven points in 15 playoff games, and the AHL’s rookie of the year award.
This year he has appeared in 19 NHL games recording four assists, not the most impressive numbers. But O’Regan has scored 25 points (7G, 18A) in 31 games for the Barracuda.
Now O’Regan will join Rochester and help them push for a deep playoff run. Adding O’Regan helps solidify Rochester’s lineup for the late season push but I would also suspect a call up for O’Regan at some point before the NHL season ends (no guarantee just my gut feeling).
O’Regan should look to build off his AHL success this season and help Rochester try and win a Calder Cup. O’Regan has shown he can be an impact player in the AHL, so letting him stay in Rochester only helps increase their chances at playoff success.
Next season, O’Regan will look to push for a NHL roster spot, if Botterill makes the roster changes fans hope for in the off-season there will be a lot of spots open for competition.
O’Regan will have to show he can translate his AHL scoring (83 points in 94 games) to the NHL level otherwise Botterill’s first big trade will be a bust.
What I’m Expecting
I’m not saying O’Regan is a gem of a prospect that will help the Sabres long-term, but I am saying that he isn’t a bad prospect and that there is some hope he can be a solid NHLer.
With the Sabres lacking in depth scoring, O’Regan is a perfect player who can slide into the top 9 and make an impact. I imagine a third line scoring role for O’Regan, with some potential to play on the second powerplay unit.
If he can translate his scoring to the NHL, he would be a perfect winger for a line that will likely feature Rasmus Asplund as the center.
Potential line: O’Regan-Asplund-Rodrigues
With the addition of O’Regan Sabres fans should look forward to having some presence of scoring from the third line, rather than being forced to see Johan Larsson miss out on scoring opportunities and take countless offensive zone penalties.
Will O’Regan be a stud, No. But he does have potential to add some scoring ability to a very thin forward group.