Ryan O'Reilly: Key To Avalanche' Future?

Kenny LindbergContributor IJuly 9, 2009

MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 27:  Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche looks on after being drafted in the second round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Centre on June 27, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

While most people will probably be quick so say Matt Duchene will be the best player the Colorado Avalanche picked in the recent NHL Draft, but don't jump to your conclusions so quickly.

With the third pick in the second round the Avalanche got a steal in selecting Ryan O'Reilly of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League.

After proving himself as a fierce competitor and leader at the juniors level, O'Reilly will bring the Avalanche another fluent and smooth skating scoring forward. He tied for the team high in scoring this season averaging just under a point per game in arguably the toughest Junior hockey league in the world.

Colorado fans may not have to wait long to see the amazing skill set that Ryan O'Reilly has to offer with the opportunity that has present itself with the departure of the legendary Joe Sakic.

While I and the rest of the Erie Otters' fans wish that he will come back to Erie and remain our leader, we know the chance for him to return is slim to none. The odds are so low not because the ability of the players on the Avalanche, but it is a testament to how special of a player Ryan is. Good luck to Ryan O'Reilly and I can't wait to watch you flourish in the NHL.