Getting to Know… Liam O’Brien

By
Posted June 16, 2019

(Cory Lyons)

With the 2018-19 season in the rear view mirror, the Capitals have been busy bolstering their line up in preparation for 2019-20. Several Hershey Bears favourites have re-signed for the coming season including Canadian born forward Liam O’Brien.

Passed over in the NHL entry level draft, O’Brian was invited to his first Capitals training camp back in 2014, earning himself a three year entry level contract with Washington. The tall forward went on to debut that season and played 13 games for the Capitals in 2014-15, even registering a fight in his debut against the Montreal Canadiens, and his first NHL goal against the Vancouver Canucks . When not skating with the Capitals, O’Brian registered 45 games and 8 points with the Hershey Bears at AHL level and has since become a fan favourite in Chocolatetown.

Originally hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, O’Brien began his road to professional hockey in 2009, tallying an impressive 38 points in 41 games with the Notre Dame Hounds Midget AAA squad. In the 2010 Draft for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, O’Brien was selected at 10th overall by the Rimouski Oceanic. He played 101 games for the Oceanic up until the 2011 season during which he was traded for draft picks to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

In his first full season with the Huskies ‘A’ squad, O’Brien lined up in 65 regular season games and 12 playoff games, collecting 24 regular season points and 3 playoff points during that time. He also totalled 164 penalty minutes and his physical game was something which the Capitals had on their radar. 2013-14 was the final season of Junior Hockey for O’Brien being picked up by the Capitals and making huge inroads to his professional career path at training camp.

O’Brien spent the entirety of the 2015-16 season with the Bears and posted his most successful AHL season to date with 59 regular season games and 20 playoff games for a total of 16 regular season points and 6 postseason points. It was enough to receive another call up from the Capitals but he would only post the 1 game in 2016-17 at NHL level before returning to the Bears and again putting up some impressive numbers in the NHL.

O’Brien was fast becoming one of Hershey’s key forwards and was gaining consistent ice time with the Bears and posting some good numbers. Another NHL call up in 2017-18 saw O’Brien play 3 games with the Capitals before returning to Hershey where he would play 69 games in 2017-18 and a full season 74 games (and 8 playoff games) in 2018-19. O’Brien was a key part of the Bears forward line in their 2018-19 playoff series’ against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the Charlotte Checkers.

O’Brien has earned 108 points (53g, 55a) and 555 penalty minutes in 311 career AHL games with Hershey and the Capitals rewarded his consistent play and loyalty by re-signing the tall forward on June 10th 2019. O’Brien has been signed to a one year, two way contract worth an average annual value of $700,000 and will be one of several forwards gunning for a depth spot on the Capitals roster for Season 2019-20. O’Brien, entering his sixth season as part of the Capitals organisation will definitely be in the mix and remains an exciting player to watch and a fan favourite in both the Capitals and Bear camps.

Liam O’Brien