When the trade with the San Jose Sharks went down an hour before the NHL's Feb. 26 trade deadline, Danny O'Regan said the first people he heard from were some family members. The next two to text: Former Boston University linemates, and now current Buffalo Sabres teammates, Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues.
"They're both good friends and I knew they'd make me feel right at home since I got here," O'Regan said today after getting the call to join the Sabres from the Rochester Amerks. "They've been great so far. ... Jack called right away, too. So I talked to those guys and they were excited. And I was just as excited to be here."
The Sabres needed an extra forward after Kyle Criscuolo suffered a shoulder injury Monday against Toronto, and Rodrigues is still out with what's believed to be rib issues. Seth Griffith is returning to the lineup and O'Regan will be a healthy scratch for Wednesday night's game against the Calgary Flames in KeyBank Center.
"I could see him getting some games in the future here," coach Phil Housley said after the morning skate. "He's just a really good solid prospect for us and he's going to get an opportunity."
Asked if that opportunity might come Thursday in Ottawa, Housley said "could be."
O'Regan knows there will be a lot of attention focused on his game because he's the lone current player acquired for Kane, Buffalo's top rental at the deadline. The Sabres also received two conditional draft picks.
"I try not to put that pressure on myself but I know because I'm part of the Evander Kane trade – it's not like it was a 1-for-1 deal – I definitely want to show the organization I can play hockey," he said. "I'm going to try to do my best, work hard, compete, play fast and create some offense."
O'Regan was the AHL Rookie of the Year last season after collecting 23 goals and 58 points for the San Jose Barracuda. He scored twice in his three games in Rochester after not registering a goal in 19 games with the Sharks.
"I was definitely surprised at the time of the trade. I wasn't really expecting it," he said. "I loved playing in San Jose. They're a great organization but I was really excited to start here. This organization has been just great so far. Rochester was a great week for me to get settled and get used to some of the systems how they want to play around here.
"I thought it was a good team. I liked the way they play. They play hard, play fast. A lot of good guys in the room. It's hard hockey, creating a lot of offense so it's a fun system to be in."