Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 7:31pm


The Buffalo Sabres acquired center Ryan O'Reilly and winger Jamie McGinn from the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Nikita Zadorov, forwards Mikhail Grigorenko and J.T. Compher as well as a second-round draft pick in 2015 (No. 31 overall).

What does it give the Buffalo Sabres
This is a huge deal for the Sabres, who land a great two-way pivot in O'Reilly. The versatile forward will probably play top-line minutes for a Sabres club that also have Jack Eichel in the fold--plus holdovers Zemgus Girgensons and Sam Reinhart--at the center position. They also added veteran David Legwand earlier in the day. Center is now a huge strength for Buffalo. McGinn has endured back problems but could be another solid addition if healthy. He can play either wing position.

What does it give the Colorado Avalanche
The Avs were not going to be able to come to terms with O'Reilly on a long-term contract extension. Therefore, they did the next-best thing: move him out for a great return. Adding Zadorov is key here as he may develop into a top-pairing rearguard for the future. He's that talented, and should play in the NHL this season. Grigorenko, who played under Patrick Roy in the QMJHL, should also emerge as a quality NHLer in Denver. He's now in a much better situation. Compher and the draft pick add even more organizational depth. Overall, Colorado did well in this blockbuster.

Fantasy impact
O'Reilly's fantasy value should remain fairly steady here, as he'll have more responsibilities in Western New York but perhaps not as much of a supporting cast (yet). Grigorenko and Zadorov should both benefit greatly from this trade and are now big sleepers going into 2015-16. McGinn may bounce back in Buffalo if he returns to health, while Compher's long-range fantasy upside remains stable.

Player focus

Colorado Avalanche

Nikita Zadorov D

Mikhail Grigorenko LW/RW

a second-round draft pick in 2015 (No. 31 overall)

J.T. Compher C/RW