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O'Reilly signs seven-year extension with Sabres

NHL.com @NHL

The Buffalo Sabres signed forward Ryan O'Reilly to a seven-year contract extension on Friday.

O'Reilly, 24, who was traded from the Colorado Avalanche on June 26, had 17 goals and 55 points in 82 games last season and had one year remaining on his contract.

"We're happy to have Ryan locked up to a long-term deal," Buffalo general manager Tim Murray said. "It's not easy to find a player who, at his age, is already established in the League as someone who plays a complete game and makes his teammates better. When we acquired him, we viewed him as someone who could immediately improve our roster but was still young enough to make an impact for several years to come, and this contract reflects that belief."

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Sportsnet reported the contract to be worth $52.5 million, an average annual value of $7.5 million.

"I've always wanted to be a big piece like that, have that leadership role and be seen as that by the management," O'Reilly said Tuesday. "It's another area to grow my game. If I can do that and transfer what I know and still at the same time learn new things, it's only going to benefit the team and benefit myself. It's a huge step that I can't wait to get started with."

Selected by Colorado in the second round (No. 33) in the 2009 NHL Draft, O'Reilly had 90 goals and 246 points in 427 games in six seasons with the Avalanche.

He won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2014 when he had two penalty minutes in the season. O'Reilly had NHL career highs in goals (28) and points (64) during the 2013-14 season.

O'Reilly's older brother, Cal O'Reilly, signed a two-year contract with the Sabres on Wednesday.

Ryan is expected to serve as a mentor to rookie center Jack Eichel, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft who signed his entry-level contract Wednesday.

"It's flattering to be looked at that way," O'Reilly said. "To come in with confidence in myself and them having confidence in me, it's definitely a huge honor and I'm looking forward to it."

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