Just How Good Is Ryan O’Reilly?

2019-20 was another stellar season for Blues Center Ryan O’Reilly, as he led his team to a 42-19-20 record in seventy-one games played, good for the top spot in the Central Division and Western Conference.


Ryan O’Reilly individually followed up his Con Smythe Trophy worthy 2018-19 Stanley Cup Playoffs performance of eight goals, fifteen assists, and twenty-three points in twenty-six games with another strong regular season campaign. He finished with twelve goals and forty-eight assists in seventy games played which tied David Perron for most points on the Blues this season. O’Reilly also had a 5:11 penalty taken/drawn ratio and an astounding 22:69 giveaway/takeaway ratio (a +47 turnover +/-). Both of these are above average ratios, and the 22:69 giveaway/takeaway one is among the best in the league. O’Reilly was also +11 +/- wise, which was tied for fifth-best on the team with Alex Pietrangelo, trailing Vince Dunn (+15), Zach Sanford (+13), Marco Scandella (+14), Robert Bortuzzo (+12).


AB wise, O’Reilly finished with a +4.87 individual AB score in 2019-20, which was the best on the team. This is of no surprise to us, as O’Reilly often registers highly positive individual scores. In fact, in the eleven years of data we have on him, he has only registered two negative seasons, both of which were with the Buffalo Sabres and weren’t worse than -1.5. O’Reilly even had the highest individual score of his career last season with a +8.15, which was among the higher scores in the league as well. Career-wise, he has a +2.97 career AB score, which is impressive given that he’s played eleven seasons at almost a +3 pace.


Ryan O’Reilly will enter the fifth year of his seven-year, $52.5 million ($7.5 million AAV) contract at the start of the 2020-2021 season and will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2022-2023 season. According to our arbitration analyzer, Ryan O’Reilly is vastly underpaid, as he is ranked higher than players like Anze Kopitar ($10 million), John Tavares ($11 million), and Jonathan Toews ($10.5 million).


Should the NHL decide to resume play, the St. Louis Blues are in great positioning to defend their title, as they are undoubtedly one of the top teams in the Western Conference, and would most likely be the number one overall seed in the conference if the season were to resume directly with the playoffs. They were one of the hottest teams in the league before the stoppage anyway, as they had an 8-2-0 record in their last ten games. More to come.


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