By Kris Smith
The 25-year old spent the last five seasons in the Canadian University league, USports with the University of Guelph Gryphons and says he is adapting well to the step up from college hockey to the professional level.
Reilly said: “It is definitely a little learning curve, I think most of the plays happen fast and guys make smarter decisions with the puck.
“I think I’ve adapted well to the speed of the game but I would say it more comes down to decision making at this level.
“I just have to adjust my own decision making and how I read situations.”
The British-born Canadian has been here for over a month and is loving life back in his home nation.
O’Connor added: “I love the city, I think it is really nice and all the people have been kind to us.
“The ownership and the team here have been really welcoming and I have had a lot of fun, I’m really enjoying the experience so far.”
Now that he is playing hockey full-time and in a professional environment, O’Connor is feels he is thriving.
He added: “It’s nice, I like the pace on the ice and off the ice everyone is really serious.
“It’s the attitude of you’re a pro now, so there is a lot more individual responsibility, which is nice but I like the atmosphere and have really been enjoying it.”
After having his first taste of Elite League ice hockey, the blueliner has seen a clear difference between his previous leagues and the pros.
“It’s a good league, it’s really fast, guys are skilled and they compete hard”, said Reilly.
“Guys are bigger and everyone’s older than college obviously but it is definitely a step up and I think I’ve been doing well and I am really enjoying the challenge.”
O’Connor wasted no time in bagging his first senior goal as he smashed home the fourth goal against the Glasgow Clan on September 1.
“I was really excited, it felt awesome.
“It was really nice to get that out of the way and move on and not have to worry about it.”
Unfortunately, Reilly picked up an upper body injury in the second period last Saturday and will be out of action for a few weeks.
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