The Bruins have added some depth to their back end as they’ve acquired Mike Reilly from Ottawa in exchange for a 2022 third-round draft pick. Both teams have announced the trade.
Reilly was highly coveted coming out of college after opting to not sign with Columbus, which drafted him back in the fourth round in 2011. However, he never really established himself as a regular with Minnesota, which signed him in free agency, and things didn’t change after he was flipped to Montreal in 2018. That resulted in Ottawa picking him up for a fifth-rounder last season, and while he still isn’t quite established yet as a key piece, he has taken some steps toward that.
This season, the 27-year-old has played in 40 games, and while he has yet to score a goal, he has a career-best 19 assists, one behind Thomas Chabot for the team lead while the 19 points are also a career high. That performance was enough to get Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion to try to work out a short-term contract extension this weekend, per Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch, but those talks clearly didn’t result in a new deal although the Senators were able to get a two-round upgrade on what they paid to get him a year ago, which is still nice.
As for Boston, the Bruins have been hit hard by the injury bug this season with Charlie McAvoy, John Moore, Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk all currently out of the lineup with Kevan Miller requiring some rest after missing all of last season, so there was a clear need for depth. They also didn’t replace Torey Krug when he left for St. Louis in free agency, so Reilly’s playmaking will certainly be beneficial. A good showing with Boston would certainly bolster his value heading into the open market but could also create an opportunity for him to stick around.
Reilly is a pending unrestricted free agent with a $1.5 million salary and cap hit, which still leaves GM Don Sweeney some space with which to work before Monday’s trade deadline. The Bruins could still stand to add defensive depth in light of the injuries but they could also turn to try to add up front and add some secondary scoring, an element they’ve frequently coveted in recent deadlines.
Joe McDonald of the Worcester Telegram and Gazette was the first to report the trade.