It didn’t take long after reports surfaced that Tyler Seguin was leaving the World Cup of Hockey for Team Canada to decide on his replacement.
Seguin, who is out with a knee injury, is heading home from the international tournament after just two games – and center Ryan O’Reilly, who spent last season with the Buffalo Sabres, will be stepping up to replace him.
O’Reilly, a former second round pick of the Colorado Avalanche from the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, was dealt to the Sabres after the 2014-15 season and signed to a lengthy extension with the Atlantic Division club. Known for his two-way ability at center, the Clinton, Ontario native finished his 2015-16 campaign with 21 goals and 60 points, good for the lead on his team in scoring over rookie Jack Eichel.
The decision to tab O’Reilly isn’t altogether surprising, as he’s a familiar face for Hockey Canada and a known two-way player. The decision is a bit unexpected on Tuesday evening, though, as it was initially reported that Canada wouldn’t be announcing Seguin’s replacement until the following day – and Elliotte Friedman had suggested that Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds was actually the team’s most likely candidate to replace Seguin.
Team Canada will next play on Wednesday evening, facing off against Team Russia at 7:30 PM EST for their final pretournament game before the official competition begins. Their first game of the preliminary round will take place against the Czech Republic on September 17th.