Is 2024 draft prospect Sam O’Reilly a fit for the Calgary Flames prospect pool?

Photo credit:Natalie Shaver/OHL Images
Ryley Delaney
27 days ago
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Right-shot centres are hard to come by.
The Calgary Flames have four picks in the first two rounds in the upcoming 2024 draft. In this article, we’ll look at a player who could be chosen as soon as their late-first-round pick, or as late as their pick they received from the Dallas Stars.
Let’s take a look at Sam O’Reilly.

Sam O’Reilly scouting report and profile

Right-shot centre, born Mar. 30, 2006, in Toronto, Ontario, 6’1”, 183 lbs
O’Reilly plays for the Ontario Hockey League juggernaut, the London Knights. After just eight games played between the regular season and the post-season in 2022-23, the 18-year-old forward (listed as a centre and a right wing) broke onto the scene in the 2023-24 season.
Last season with the OHL champions, O’Reilly scored 20 goals and 56 points, mainly as a 17-year-old. The postseason started shortly after his 18th birthday, where he scored five goals and 12 points in 16 games, as the Knights went on to sweep three of the four series’ they played in the OHL playoffs. They fell short of the Memorial Cup, though.
O’Reilly’s ranking varies drastically depending on the publication you look at. TSN’s Craig Button has him ranked 35th, while Smaht Scouting has him ranked as the 32nd-best draft prospect, his highest ranking. His lowest ranking is from The Hockey News’ Tony Ferrari, who ranked him as the 68th-best draft prospect.
The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler ranked him as his 52nd-best draft prospect, while Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis ranked him one spot higher. His consolidated ranking by Elite Prospects is 48th, the same rank they have him at. As you can see, there’s a pretty wide range of where scouts think he’ll be selected.
Chris Ford of Smaht Scouting reports that O’Reilly is a good middle-six centre who is a great defensive centre, a common sentiment among scouts. Despite his age, he was relied upon to take faceoffs and penalty kills for the Knights, an impressive role for such a young player. He’s a solid passer and already a solid playmaker with “high hockey IQ”, but needs to work on some aspects of skating.
The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler notes his great defending, but expands further on the offensive side of things. O’Reilly’s defensive skills translate offensively as well, as he is great along the walls and can steal the puck with a stick lift. Wheeler also notes that he’s a solid skater who has more in the tank offensively.
According to Elite Prospects in their 2024 NHL Draft Guide, his defence is great while adding physicality and quick passes. He just knows how to shut down the opposition.
Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis, who ranked O’Reilly 51st, reports that he’s a good two-way centre who is also smart. He also raised his stock significantly with a good showing in the Memorial Cup, and it’s worth mentioning that his numbers were better than teammate Easton Cowen’s when he was O’Reilly’s age.
Solid middle six forwards who can shut down opposition are the exact type of players that Stanley Cup contenders draft in the second round. If he’s available when the Flames pick, they should look to draft O’Reilly, especially if they haven’t drafted a centre earlier in the draft.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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