What's in store for Botterill's six qualified RFA's? Today, Danny O'Regan
Late last month Sabres GM Jason Botterill qualified six Buffalo restricted free agents. According to the Buffalo News, these were the players, their salaries last season and their qualifying offers:
--F Justin Bailey $650,000/$715,000
--F Nick Baptiste $750,000/$787,500
--F Sean Malone $750,000/$787,500
--F Danny O’Regan $832,500/$874,125
--F Sam Reinhart $832,500/$874,125
--F C.J. Smith $832,500/$874,125
Today we look at F, Danny O'Regan.
He was part of the Evander Kane to the San Jose Sharks trade at the 2018 NHL trade deadline. He was also a team mate of Jack Eichel, Evan Rodrigues and Brandon Hickey at Boston University when the Terriers lost to the Providence Friars in the National Championship game. A couple quick notes on that, O'Regan put the Terriers up 3-2 with less than nine minutes to go on an assist from Eichel and the Terriers peppered Friars goalie John Gilles with 52 shots, Eichel had six, O'Regan five, Rodrigues one, and Hickey three.
The 24 yr. old O'Regan was drafted in 2012 by the Sharks in the fifth round (138th-overall) and joined the Sharks organization after four years at BU where he scored 154 points (66+88) in 154 games. He followed his college career with an equally strong 2016-17 AHL season where the rookie lead the San Jose Barracuda in scoring with 58 points in 61 games, lead all rookies in goals with 23 and was awarded the Dudley "Red" Garrett Award as the AHL's rookie of the year.
Prior to last season, O'Regan was on the cusp of making the Sharks roster out of camp but was sent back to the Barracuda and scored seven goals while adding 18 assists in 31 games as he was shuffled back and fourth between the two pro teams. He appeared in 22 games for the Sharks before being traded to Buffalo and spent 18 games with the Rochester Americans scoring six goals and adding nine assists while also getting in two games with the Sabres in early March.
O'Regan checks off a lot of boxes for Botterill as the 5'10" 185 lb. forward defies his smaller size with a strong work ethic and excellent skating while proving he can score at every level he's been at thus far. However, the NHL is the big jump and so far his scoring prowess hasn't transferred (one goal, four assists.)
Which leads us to this coming season.
It wouldn't be too surprising to see him with a one or two year, deal with a little more added to his AHL salary. According to CapFreindly, O'Regan's NHL salary was set at $858,750 while making $70,000 in the AHL. He's a pretty big get for the Sabres in that he could really give a big boost to Rochester should he not make the Sabres out of camp and that might boost his AHL salary over six figures. When all's said and done, we could see a Casey Nelson-type, two-year contract where the first year is a two-way deal ($650K NHL/$150K AHL) with the second year a one-way $650,000 deal.