The Boston Bruins have shored up some of their defensive depth with another solid contract retaining one of their own players. Defenseman Mike Reilly has re-signed with the Bruins on a three-year deal worth $9 million that will keep the puck-moving defenseman from hitting the free agent market on Tuesday afternoon.
The signing was first reported by The Athletic’s Michael Russo.
Sounds like defenseman Mike Reilly is getting close to re-signing with the #bruins
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 27, 2021
The Bruins initially sent a 2022 third round pick to the Senators for Reilly at last season’s NHL trade deadline in a move that shored up a spot where youngster Jakub Zboril had struggled to hold down a top-4 role with Boston.
The 28-year-old late bloomer had a breakout season with the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins in 2021 as he totaled 27 points in 55 games along with a plus-5 rating while averaging 19:17 of ice time, and four assists in 11 playoff games while topping 21 minutes of ice time for the Bruins. Reilly isn’t the biggest guy in the world at 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, but he showed he’s adept at moving the puck and getting shots through from the point while holding his own in the defensive end.
It was clear that Reilly was due for a decent contract if he hit the free agent market, but $3 million per season is a pretty good rate for an everyday defenseman that could play a top-4 role for the Black and Gold alongside Brandon Carlo.
“I think it’s mutual right now, between us, to try and get something done,” said Reilly, of sticking with the Bruins when asked about it at the exit meetings for the Bruins after their playoff elimination. “I definitely want to stay here, for sure. There’s been some talks, but since day one it’s been an easy transition for me to come in and just get used to everything, how they run the ship down here. It’s been great so far, and hopefully stuff can work out.”
Reilly had been bouncing between the AHL and NHL for the previous five seasons where he managed to top 50 games in a season just twice in his NHL career from 2017-2019 while with the Wild and Canadiens, but now has found a home in Boston for his prime NHL seasons. The move leaves the Bruins still in need of a big, strong left-shot defenseman to take the place of Jeremy Lauzon after they lost him in the expansion draft, a need that could be filled by Derek Forbort on the free agent market set to open on Tuesday afternoon.