Q & A with Prospect Cal O'Reilly
Thursday, 06.25.2009 / 7:45 AM / Features
By Sarah Ryan - Nashville Predators
2009 Draft Prospect Profiles• Top North American Forwards
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• Top Rising Prospects
O'Reilly, a fifth-round pick by the Predators in the 2005 Entry Draft, had a break-through season in 2008-09, including his NHL debut and first NHL goal.
NashvillePredators.com: How has your summer been so far?
Cal O’Reilly: It’s been great. I took a few weeks off after the season ended here in Milwaukee. I started training three weeks ago and everything is going good. I’m spending some time in Milwaukee until early July - my girlfriend works here so I’m staying with her for a bit - then I’m heading back to Canada to my parents place to stay there and finish my training.
NP.com: What are you doing to get ready for the season?
CO: I’m working on strength and explosiveness and all the aspects you need for hockey. I’m staking a little bit, not a lot right now, but as we get closer to the season I’ll start skating more and more. I’m just getting ready.
NP.com: What is your overall feeling from last season, both in Milwaukee and in Nashville?
CO: I think in Milwaukee we had a great season. It would have been nice to go a little further in the playoffs; we had a tough game-seven loss. But I think we had a great year down there. Then to get some time in Nashville was great. Getting to play some games and get some experience up there was great as well.
NP.com: Can you talk about your debut up here and what the experience was like?
CO: It was great. It was everything I expected it to be. I’d always wanted to play in the NHL and to finally get that chance was amazing. The guys were great with me and I had a lot of fun and I learned a lot.
NP.com: Now that you have seen what it is like up here, what areas of your game do you think you need to work on to be here full time?
CO: I’ve got to get a little bigger, a little stronger. That’s something I’ve been working on for a year and that will help me up there. Up there the guys are so big and strong that you need to be a little bigger and stronger to survive up there.
NP.com: Switching gears here, can you talk about your draft experience?
CO: I was fifth round, I think, and I didn’t know if I was going to go or not but when it happened I was just thrilled to get drafted. I wasn’t there but I watched on the internet. Then the management called me and congratulated me and said that they had chosen me.
CO: He is going a totally different way than I did. I think he is going in the top two rounds, hopefully. He’s been doing all kinds of things the last few weeks – meeting with teams, doing interviews, fitness testing. He’s really excited and it is going to be a big day for him on Friday or Saturday.
NP.com: Have you spoken with him much about the draft experience?
CO: Yes. Though, I didn’t go through the same things he did with the combine testing, other testing, meetings and such, I just told him it doesn’t matter where you get drafted, just be happy to be drafted. If you go high, that’s great; if not, don’t get too down on yourself because it’s not about how high you go, it’s about how you do in the future and how you develop as a player.
NP.com: Can you give us a scouting report on your brother?
CO: He is like me in that he likes to pass the puck a lot but he is a bigger kid – more of a power-forward type. He has great hands, is great defensively, a good penalty killer, good shot – he’s an all-around player.