The Colorado Avalanche have traded Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov, J.T. Compher, and the 31st pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
This is a deal that was always likely coming, with the Avalanche needing to dish off O’Reilly.
According to reports, O’Reilly’s asking price was a touch on the high side for Colorado. When they made a move Thursday afternoon to acquire the rights of Carl Soderberg, it looked like O’Reilly was all but out for the Avalanche. And just ahead of the start of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the deal happened.
O’Reilly will be entering the final year of his existing contract and will be an unrestricted free agent come 2016. His current cap hit is $6 million.
O’Reilly won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2014 and posted 17 goals and 38 helpers in 82 games this season.
26-year-old McGinn played in 19 games this season and posted six points, including four goals.
The Avalanche pick up Grigorenko, a 21-year-old forward and the 12th overall selection by the Sabres in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He’s spent most of his time with the Rochester Americans, but he has seen NHL action in Buffalo. He played in 25 games in 2014-2015 and managed six points, including three goals.
Moscow’s Zadorov had 15 points in 60 games this season, but he finished a -10. That’s not hard to do when you’re on the Sabres, of course. He’s a left-handed defenceman and that helps, plus he brings a big hit to Colorado and was once scouted as being part of the rebuild in Buffalo.
And finally, Compher is an energy guy who some say is a little on the small side. He’s a quality skater, though, and finishes his checks. He’s just coming off his sophomore season at the University of Michigan and had 24 points in 34 games.
Obviously the pick is a significant part of this deal, too, but it really amounts to the Avalanche looking for something out of O’Reilly before they lost him and before things got uncomfortable. Job done.