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Friday, September 24, 2010

Tommy O'Regan: A guy you should know

This Bay Stater and '92 center was a player I was pretty high on after seeing him with St. Sebastian's last season.

He had nice size, jump and could really dangle in my lone viewing of him.

But the son of former BU star and NHL journeyman (Pittsburgh) Tom O'Regan who was a longtime scoring star in the German pro leagues, didn't show enough in prep last season to have his name called in L.A. despite leading the team with 21 goals and 42 points. The younger O'Regan is committed to Harvard University next year wasn't even nabbed with a seventh-round pick after I had him as the No. 8 prospect coming out of New England for the 2010 NHL draft class.

Well, recognizing that he didn't need to go back to the Arrows for another big scoring year but poor developmental one, he took a page out of Connor Brickley's book and is now in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers and skating with 2011 draft stud Seth Ambroz. Ambroz is off to a hot start already in the season and could score upwards of 60 goals this year if things break right for him.

But O'Regan is an intriguing prospect in himself. He's got the potential to play his well into a late-round selection next year because he has natural size and offensive talent. The knocks on the Dedham, Mass. native? His intensity and consistency ebb and flow like the tide, but if he can pull it together with the Lancers, he could end up being the beneficiary of a monster season with the help of Ambroz and co.

Every year, New England players who get snubbed in their first year find a way to make noise in the second (Mike Cichy, Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Chris Wagner), so O'Regan could follow that trend. Or, he might not get his name called at all and go the route of former Avon Old Farms captain Pat Mullane, a '90 who couldn't translate solid years at Omaha or Boston College into a draft ticket in '09 or '10.

In any case, O'Regan is one more local who is flying under the radar-- the local '93s are a weak class overall, so they need to be bolstered by some older guys and some non-natives playing in the region like Petr Placek, Mike McKee and Philippe Hudon.

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