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Former Gophers star Reilly will test NHL free-agent market

Mike Reilly will officially test the free agent market. The Gophers' two-time All-America defenseman informed the Columbus Blue Jackets, who drafted Reilly in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, that he will field offers from other interested organizations, TSN's Bob McKenzie first reported on Saturday.

Reilly told the Star Tribune in early April that he would forgo his senior season at Minnesota and sign a pro contract, but was unsure what organization he'd end up with despite the Blue Jackets' attempts to sign him immediately. He was one of three junior standouts, including defenseman Brady Skjei and goaltender Adam Wilcox, to sign pro contracts after the Gophers' first-round exit in the NCAA tournament.

McKenzie also reported that Reilly officially withdrew from school at Minnesota this week, triggering a 30-day countdown until he officially becomes an unrestricted free agent in mid-June. Reilly, however, said he's still considering signing with Columbus.

‚ÄčThe Chanhassen, Minn., native is one of five college standouts currently competing with the USA men's national team at the World Championships in the Czech Republic. He's played in eight games and has one assist and nine shots on goal. 

Another Reilly, Caitlin, joins Gophers hockey family

The defending national champion Gophers women's hockey team added six skaters to its incoming class on Friday, including one with a familiar last name — Reilly. Caitlin Reilly, the younger sister of Gophers men's hockey's Reilly brothers trio, will transfer from Penn State and become the fifth member in the Reilly family to play hockey at the University of Minnesota.

Caitlin's father, Mike, played for the Gophers in the late 70s/early 80s, and his three sons — Mikey, Connor and Ryan — played the last three years together at Minnesota with Mike earning back-to-back First Team All-America honors. Her older sister Shannon played college hockey at Ohio State.

The sophomore forward is a product of Benilde-St. Margaret's and played a contributing role for Penn State as a freshman. She scored 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 37 games for the Nittany Lions and was a three-time CHA Rookie of the Week. 

"I chose Minnesota because I wanted to be closer to home and have my family be able to watch me play more, as well as be a part of a program with so much history," Caitlin said in a statement. "I also chose Minnesota for the academic opportunities this school offers." 

Forwards Tianna Gunderson (Roseau High School), Nicole Schammel (Minnesota State/Red Wing High School), Sierra Smith (Stillwater High School), defenseman Anna Barlow (South St. Paul High School) and goaltender Emma May (Cretin-Derham Hall High School) round out Friday's additions to the nine-member incoming class that already included Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, British Columbia), Sophie Skarzynski (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Taylor Williamson (Edina High School).

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