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O'Reilly drawing trade interest for Sabres: report

Center asked about ahead of 2018 NHL Draft, GM says

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Ryan O'Reilly has been drawing interest from teams about a potential trade, Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill told The Buffalo News on Tuesday.

O'Reilly, a 27-year-old center, was second on the Sabres with 61 points (24 goals, 37 assists) in 81 games, behind Jack Eichel, who had 64 points (25 goals, 39 assists) in 67 games. O'Reilly led the NHL with 1,274 face-off wins and was a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded annually to the player voted to best combine sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability.

Buffalo isn't actively looking to trade O'Reilly, Botterill said.

"To be honest, the interest in Ryan is not surprising at all," Botterill said. "Ryan is one of our better players. ... Look, when I'm having discussions with other teams or other teams call me, they're not looking for some of our players who are struggling. They're looking to improve with our talented players."

Video: BUF@FLA: O'Reilly rips a tight-angle shot past Reimer

O'Reilly has scored at least 55 points in five straight seasons and has 422 points (155 goals, 267 assists) in 651 games in nine NHL seasons with the Colorado Avalanche and Sabres.

He was selected by Colorado in the second round (No. 33) in the 2009 NHL Draft and was acquired by Buffalo in a trade with the Avalanche prior to the 2015 NHL Draft (June 26, 2015). O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn went to Buffalo for J.T. Compher, Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov and a second-round pick.

The Sabres, who haven't made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 2010-11 season, finished last in the NHL at 25-45-12 this season, and O'Reilly said they developed a losing mindset.

"It's disappointing. It's sad," O'Reilly told The Associated Press on April 9. "I feel throughout the year I've lost the love of the game multiple times and just need to get back to it because it's eating myself up, and eats the other guys up too."

The Sabres are expected to select defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, which begins Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS) and continues Saturday (11 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS) in Dallas.

"It's always a busy week with teams communicating," Botterill said. "It's hard to know if trades will get completed, but we find they at least get set in motion. We saw last year with the trade [with the Minnesota Wild on June 30] for Marco Scandella and Jason Pominville, it was not at the draft but it was set up at the draft. That's often how they worked."

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