On day one of NHL free agency, soon after the opening of the proverbial floodgates, the Wild reportedly signed depth forward Cal O’Reilly in their first group of signees. O’Reilly is primarily a center, and at 30 years old, has very much been an AHL/KHL journeyman to this point in his career. His last two seasons were spent under contract in Buffalo, where he played a total of 31 games for the Sabres, as well as 94 total games with the Rochester Americans and 15 with the Toronto Marlies, who had taken him on loan to close out the ’16-’17 season. O’Reilly is a 6’0”, 191-pound left shot forward, who has always played a depth/call-up role with all of the NHL clubs that have employed him.
Cal O’Reilly, Ryan O’Reilly’s older brother, has been a professional hockey player since 2006, when he made his AHL debut with the Milwaukee Admirals after being drafted in the fifth round in 2005 by Nashville. During the course of his career, O’Reilly has played for Nashville, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo.
O’Reilly appears to be one of those players that can fill in on the third or fourth line when needed, but this is clearly not a signing that is expected to be a full-time solution for the Wild next season, as it looks to fill the hole left after Erik Haula was claimed by Vegas in the expansion draft. There is likely more to come at the center position for Minnesota… stay tuned!