Name: Ryan O’Rourke
League: Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Age/DOB: 18-years-old, May 16th, 2002
Birthplace: Pickering, Ontario, Canada
Potential Draft Round: Late first/Early second
NHL Potential: Top six defensemen
NHL Comparable: Kris Letang
O’Rourke is not a household name in this draft, but him flying under the radar isn’t a bad thing at all.
He’s a good skater who moves the puck really well and is very good when joining the rush. A lot of his game revolves around his continuous movement on the ice and being attentive at every moment. His offence took a step forward this year, being more involved in games as he entered his second OHL season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. His numbers may not show it, but he does have an offensive side to his game which we’ll likely see take an even bigger step up in his third year.
O’Rourke is still years away from playing in the NHL, but that’s okay as he can get back to finishing his junior stage, whether with the Greyhounds or somewhere else. I expect him to stay with the Soo as they are in the conversation for the Memorial Cup and they’ll likely look to hold onto their key players while adding their talent to achieve that bid. There were even talks that maybe top prospects like Cole Caufield and John Beecher, who’s rights are owned by the Soo, may be coming north of the border, but that’s pure speculation for now. Until then, all Ryan has to do is continue working on his skills and continue his positive progression.