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Get to Know a Bruin: Mike Reilly

As part of the build-up to the first-round playoff series between the Capitals and the Bruins, Japers’ Rink will be looking at some of the important B’s players and how they might impact the series.

New York Islanders v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Mike Reilly

#6 / Defense

Height: 6’1” | Weight: 199 | Born: July 13, 1993

Birthplace: Chicago, IL | Acquired: Traded to Boston in April 2021

Assets: Has tremendous offensive ability, as he sees the ice well and has excellent mobility to join the rush. Is also a solid puck mover whose stick is always active and effective.

Flaws: Needs to add significant bulk to his 6-2 frame, and get much stronger overall, in order to maximize output at the National Hockey League level. Lacks physicality, too.

Career Potential: Decent offensive defenseman with a little upside.

(Via TSN)

Why you should know who he is: The Bruins picked Reilly up from Ottawa for a third-round pick at this year’s trade deadline and he’s quickly become a key contributor to their defense, logging more than 21 minutes a night. In fact, he’s second on the team (behind Charlie McAvoy) in average ice time since being acquired, playing in all situations, and posting eight assists in those 15 games. The smooth-skating Reilly is really coming into his own and has been terrific in the B’s second pair (albeit in limited minutes) alongside Brendan Carlo lately and Connor Clifton before him:

via MoneyPuck

Reilly is an offensive-minded defenseman playing in a system that accentuates his strengths. Look out.

How the Caps can stop him: As will be the case with most of the Bruins’ blueliners, it will be important for the Caps forwards to try to punish them physically (*ahem* within the rules of the game) while not simply chasing hits and leaving the team exposed in the neutral zone. In Peter Laviolette’s man-to-man defensive system, whoever is marking Reilly will need to stay alert and stay close – he’s not much of a shooter (just eight goals in his career), but certainly can dish the biscuit if given time and space.