Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly has been added to the Team Canada roster for the World Cup of Hockey as an injury replacement, Hockey Canada officials announced Tuesday night.
O'Reilly will replace Dallas Stars standout Tyler Seguin, who has been ruled out due to a knee injury. O'Reilly becomes the fourth Sabres player to make the tourney, joining Jack Eichel (Team North America), Rasmus Ristolainen (Finland) and Dmitry Kulikov (Russia). Goaltender Robin Lehner was chosen to play for Sweden but elected to withdraw from the tournament to remain in Buffalo and continue rehab on his surgically repaired ankle.
O'Reilly, 25, had 21 goals and 39 assists last season, his first in Buffalo after being acquired in a draft-night trade from Colorado in 2015. The assist total was a career high, and O'Reilly led the team in assists and points. He starts this season as the highest-paid player in Sabres history, making $11 million in the first season of his seven-year, $52.5-million extension signed in July, 2015.
Sportsnet reported Tuesday night that Seguin, who finished 14th in the NHL last season with 73 points, has been told to stay off skates for 7-10 days. He crashed hard into the boards trying to negate an icing call during Friday's exhibition game against Team USA in Columbus and took a hard hit Saturday in Ottawa from Dustin Byfuglien.
O'Reilly is a four-time member of Team Canada at the World Championships, including the last two years as he helped Canada win gold medals. He is expected to head to Pittsburgh to join Team Canada for its final exhibition game against Russia Wednesday at 7:30 in Consol Energy Center (ESPN 2). The host nation opens play in the tournament against the Czech Republic Saturday night at 8 in Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
"It's never easy to lose a player to injury, let alone one of Tyler's caliber but once again it speaks to the depth of talent in the country to be able to add a Ryan O'Reilly to our team," Hockey Canada general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement. "Ryan just won gold at Worlds alongside a number of our players in that dressing room, so we're expecting him to be able to gel quickly as we wrapup our pre-tournament against Russia."