O’Reilly has roots in Seaforth, Ontario, a small town that has produced a number of NHL players, many of whom were late bloomers.
O’Reilly finished eighth in scoring in the OHL with 99 points in 2005-06 before joining Milwaukee on an amateur tryout contract for the playoffs.
2007-08: In 80 games last year in the AHL, O’Reilly notched 63 assists to go along with his 16 goals. While he isn’t much of a scorer, O’Reilly does have the presence in front of the net to put one in from time to time.
2008-09: O’Reilly spent most of his season in the AHL with Milwaukee, scoring 13 goals, 56 assists for 69 points in 67 AHL games. His performance earned him a spot in the AHL All-Star game for the first time in his career. The pivot also played 11 playoff games with the Admirals, scoring 2 goals, 6 assists for 8 points. O’Reilly skated in 11 games with Nashville in his first taste of the NHL and scored 3 goals, 2 assists for 5 points.
2009-10: O’Reilly had an almost even split between the AHL and NHL in his fourth pro season. In 35 AHL games with Milwaukee, he scored 9 goals, 31 assists for 40 points. The center scored 2 goals, 9 assists for 11 points in 31 NHL games with Nashville.
Talent AnalysisViewed by Windsor Spitfire assistant coach Bill Bowler as a leader, O’Reilly was often the first player on the ice and the last to leave at practice. Blessed with offensive prowess, the center employs great vision and is summoned to play in all situations. O'Reilly takes very few penalties and his work ethic is high. His effort to share experiences from his professional training camp has demonstrated maturity and made him a respected leader among teammates. O’Reilly has shown that he has the playmaking ability to be an NHL center, and to create scoring chances for others. What makes him a very valuable player is his high work ethic and intelligence on the ice. He rarely takes a penalty and has a good eye for chances to push the puck up the ice on scoring breaks.
Cal O'Reilly has had multiple chances at the NHL level, and thus far has failed to impress. He should be handed a job for the 2010-2011 season, and needs to show his AHL prowess can translate to Nashville.