UPDATE: The Sabres have made the signing official. Ryan O’Reilly has signed a seven-year contract extension. The deal will pay the 24-year old $7.5 million per year, and will kick in at the start of the 2016-17 NHL season.
ORIGINAL:He’s only been a member of the Buffalo Sabres for a week, but it appears that center Ryan O’Reilly has agreed to be a part of the organization for much longer.
According to a report from John Vogl of The Buffalo News, the Sabres and O’Reilly have finally come to terms on a contract extension.
As reported via Twitter earlier in the week, the extension is going to be for seven years, the max term under the collective bargaining agreement. The deal is expected to be worth anywhere between $52.5-$59.5 million total.
An announcement of the extension is expected to come soon, but with the Fourth of July holiday in the United States, an announcement coming on Monday wouldn’t be surprising in the least.
O’Reilly, 24, was entering the final year of a two-year, $12 million contract that he signed with the Colorado Avalanche. After failing to agree to an extension with his former team, general manager Joe Sakic traded him to Buffalo in exchange for defenseman Nikita Zadorov, center Mikhail Grigorenko, center J.T. Compher and a 2015 second-round pick.
In six seasons with the Avalanche, O’Reilly scored 90 goals and tallied 156 assists. His best statistical season came during the 2013-14 season when he scored 64 points (28 + 36) in 80 games, winning the Lady Byng trophy in the process.
With O’Reilly now locked up long term, and second-overall pick Jack Eichel in the fold, the Sabres now have a scary one-two punch down the middle for the first time since Daniel Briere and Chris Drury suited up in the blue and gold.
Michael is a former Managing Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s covered the Buffalo Sabres, along with the NHL in general, for various outlets since 2009. His work has been featured on outlets such as Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports.