Every year, CNN-SI names who they think is going to be the breakthrough player of the year. Usually it’s done after the first 10-12 games of the season and although sometimes they are wrong, more times they are right. This year they picked Ryan O’Reilly to be their “it” guy this season. As he says in his article, the Avs have a great 20 year old on their roster, and Matt Duchene isn’t too bad either.
Ryan is actually in his third season, making the Avs roster after being drafted in the 2nd round (33rd overall) of the 2009 draft. He has already proven himself to be a solid defensive forward over the last two season, but this year he seems to have put it all together and become a complete player both offensively and defensively. He is going to be a mainstay on this Avalanche team for years to come.
He has already strung together two 20+ point seasons and that’s splitting time between the 3rd and 4th lines. This year he is playing on the 3rd line, but is getting 2nd line time. So far through the first 17 seasons he has nearly half the points he has list year (28) with 12 points (10 assists and 2 goals). He is playing with more confidence this season and he is becoming quite the set-up guy.
As for his autographed cards, they seem to be running in the $6 – $15 range on eBay. I am not going to lie, it’s a gamble right now to buy his cards. Even for the numbers he put up over the past two seasons, his cards are probably selling for about double their worth. Also he is on a team with other superstars that are going to eat into his playing time. He is probably going to put up 40+ points this season, there is just too much talent around him not to. The question is whether or not he can put up more than that on a season by season basis.