The Mike Reilly sweepstakes ended today. He's signing with the Wild.
The deal, which can't be official until Wednesday, is a a two-year, $1.85 million contract (plus bonuses), sources say.
The former Gophers defenseman, who became a free agent June 16 when he didn't sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets, was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a Hobey Baker finalist.
The Chicago-born, Minnesota-raised Reilly chose the Wild over the Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins. He met with 10 teams at the recent combine.
"It’s been pretty crazy for me," Reilly said. "When it came down to it, and doing my homework on each team, this just felt right. The last few days, just me sleeping on it, it just felt right here."
Why Minnesota over others?
"It’s a good, young team with a lot of guys. They’ve been in the playoffs the last few years and they’re ready to take the next step. They’ve got a lot of great pieces. I got to watch a lot of games throughout the year, and they’re fun to watch. They’re a fast, up-tempo team."
"I’ve got to come in and try to earn a spot and play well and play my game. There will be a lot of learning curves and mistakes, but I’m ready to learn from the older guys that have played in the league. There’s also a lot of good, young guys, too, that played as well, so it’ll be good to be able to learn from them and take it step by step to learn the pro game and be confident."
In three years with the Gophers, Reilly, who turns 22 this month, scored 18 goals and 89 points in 117 games. He led NCAA defensemen his junior year with 42 points and was the first Gophers defenseman to lead the team in scoring since Mike Crowley tallied 56 points in 1996-97. Reilly tied for third among all NCAA players with 36 assists (led defensemen), ranked first among all NCAA skaters with 19 power-play assists and earned First Team All-America and Big Ten honors for a second consecutive season.
Reilly has been busy since the Gophers’ season ended. He helped lead the United States to a bronze medal at the World Championships and went on a three-week trip to China with brothers, Connor and Ryan.
Reilly’s dad, Mike, is a minority investor with the Wild’s ownership group.
The Reilly Brothers helped BCHL Penticton to RBC Cup and Doyle Cup championships in 2011-12. Mike Reilly led BCHL defensemen with 24 goals, 59 assists and 83 points and won the BCHL Interior Conference Best Defenseman Award.
Reilly also played at Shattuck St. Mary’s where he won a national championship in 2010-11 and Holy Angels.
He will be given every opportunity to make the Wild out of training camp.