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By the Numbers Prospects: Ryan O'Reilly

Young forward will spend one more year in USHL before heading to the University of Denver

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2018-19 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on forward Ryan O'Reilly.

Everyone in hockey is familiar with the name Ryan O'Reilly.

The St. Louis Blues center helped his team overcome the Boston Bruins to hoist the Stanley Cup and O'Reilly was named the Conn Smythe winner after he recorded eight goals and 15 assists in 26 games.

Of course, that is not the Ryan O'Reilly that the Detroit Red Wings drafted last year in the fourth round, 98th overall, of the NHL Entry Draft.

The Canadian veteran and the American prospect have actually met before and had a laugh over their shared name.

Although a native of Texas, O'Reilly knows quite a bit about Detroit.

When he was in seventh grade, his mother, Wendy, moved him and his two older brothers to the Motor City for a year to give them a chance to play in tournaments without having to travel too far.

Now the Wings prospect is trying to create a new path to Detroit.

Although committed to the University of Denver, O'Reilly is planning to spend another year in the USHL to work on his overall game.

41 -- O'Reilly played in 41 games for the Fargo Force before he was traded to the Green Bay Gamblers.

16 -- After the trade, O'Reilly played in 16 games for the Gamblers.

57 -- The combined 57 games played marked a new career high for O'Reilly.

20 -- In his time with the Force, O'Reilly recorded 20 points. During the 2017-18 season, he had 34 points in 45 games with the USHL's Madison Capitols.

11 -- Post-trade, O'Reilly picked up the pace offensively, scoring 11 points for the Gamblers.

17 -- O'Reilly had nine assists with the Force and eight with the Gamblers, giving him a career-high 17. In 2017-18 he had 13 assists with the Capitols.

8 -- Of O'Reilly's 14 goals, a career-high eight came on the power play. Only 17 players in the league had more, with the Youngstown Phantoms' Brett Murray leading the way with 15 power-play goals.

3 -- O'Reilly also set a new career best with three game-winning goals.

6 -- O'Reilly, a native of Southlake, Tex., played for Team USA's U19 team in the World Junior A Challenge tournament in Bonnyville, Alberta. Team USA won the tournament and O'Reilly played in six games from Dec. 9-15, 2018.

4 -- In that World Junior A Challenge, O'Reilly was one of five Team USA players with four points. Bobby Brink led the Americans with eight points, Trevor Janicke was second with six points and Matthew Brown was third with five points. O'Reilly, Parker Ford, Robert Mastrosimone, Zachary Jones and Luke Johnson each had four points. O'Reilly, Ford and Mastrosimone each had two goals and two assists.

12 -- If O'Reilly ever becomes the second player named Ryan O'Reilly to reach the NHL, he would also become a member of a very select group, NHL players born in the state of Texas. So far there are only 11 and just five playing currently. Brothers Seth Jones (Columbus) and Caleb Jones (Edmonton) were born in Arlington; Blake Coleman (New Jersey) and Stefan Noesen (New Jersey) were born in Plano; and Tyler Myers (Winnipeg) was born in Houston. The best Texas-born player is Hall of Fame defenseman Brian Leetch, who is from Corpus Christi. None of the 11 is from Southlake.

Quotable: "Ryan, I think, didn't have the season last year that he wanted to going in. I think the trade from Fargo to Green Bay did him some good. I thought he finished a lot better and played more the style that he's going to need to play in the last 15-16 games that he played there. He's a kid that's committed to the University of Denver but he's going to go back again for another year in the USHL, which I think is important for him, important for his growth. He needs to touch the puck, get his confidence back and play a lot of minutes and obviously the University of Denver being an elite program isn't that easy to step in as a freshman and do that so we're supportive of it and we're looking for him to have a big summer and really go into the USHL and have a dominant year. He's a guy that can really shoot the puck. I think that's what Ryan needs to figure out is what is he. I think at times during the year, he tried to do a little bit too much offensively instead of just keeping it simple - getting in, trying to create turnovers and then get into the front of the net, get into the scoring areas and really trying to get that shot off of his, that's his biggest weapon. Those are the type of things that he needs to do in order to be successful at the pro level." -- Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development

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