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O'Reilly, Preds Draftees Pay Immediate Dividends in '08-09

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
Cal O’Reilly became the fourth Predators draftee to make his NHL debut with the Preds this season, joining Patric Hornqvist, Mike Santorelli, and Alexander Sulzer. An AHL All-Star this season, O’Reilly wasted little time making an impact. On his second career NHL shift, O’Reilly feathered a pass back to Shea Weber at the right point for a blast which was deflected in front by Ville Koistinen for the game’s opening goal. The Predators would score 29-seconds later and then add three goals in a 1:24 span midway through the period to race to a 5-0 lead.

O’Reilly, who was recalled from the AHL earlier in the day, picked up a pair of assists last night in Milwaukee’s 3-2 win, including one on the game’s opening goal by Hornqvist. Hornqvist, who opened the season on the NHL roster, has split time between the NHL and AHL this season, posting two goals and seven points in 20 NHL games and 12 goals and 26 points in 40 AHL contests.

Santorelli, in his second pro season, has also developed into an AHL All-Star this season with 48 points and a team-leading 16 goals in 52 games for Milwaukee. He made his NHL-debut in early January and has appeared in six games for the Preds this season.

Sulzer, currently recovering from injury, is expected to re-join the Preds line-up soon. Despite the log-jam of defensemen at the NHL level, Sulzer forced his way into the team’s immediate plans with his play in the AHL this season and made his NHL debut on January 15 at Montreal.

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