Four years ago, Mike Reilly, measuring a whopping 5'11" 165 lbs, attended the NHL Draft Combine with hopes of showing off his physical tools to impress an NHL team. Now measuring at 6'1" 182 lbs., Reilly has established himself as one of college hockey's most elite NHL prospects, and proven that he can play against pros after playing for the US men's World Championship team this past May.And now, Reilly is back at the NHL Draft Combine again, but this time for a different purpose.
Reilly has finished his classes at the University of Minnesota for the year and officially withdrawn from school, allowing him to take advantage of a clause in the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement which would make him a free agent.
Reilly officially becomes an NHL free agent on June 15th, but is not able to sign with another NHL club until July 1st. The Columbus Blue Jackets, who drafted Reilly, have granted him permission to speak with other NHL clubs prior to hitting the free agent market, and Reilly is taking advantage of that by meeting with teams while they are congregated in one spot at the NHL Combine.
TSN analyst Bob McKenzie reports that nine teams, including the Columbus Blue Jackets, will meet with Reilly to make their pitch:
The 9 clubs Reilly meeting with: CHI, CBJ, DET, EDM, LA, MIN, MTL, NYR, PIT. Reilly officially becomes UFA on June 16.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 4, 2015
Reilly is a two-time All-American and led the NCAA in scoring by a defenseman last season. We ranked Reilly as the 9th-best NHL prospect in all of college hockey season.