The Boston Bruins have acquired defender Mike Reilly from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a third-round draft pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the team announced Sunday night. The veteran defender spent parts of last season and the entirety of the 2020-21 season with the Senators this season prior to this deal taking place. He’s now set to join his fourth team in his career.
In acquiring Reilly, the Bruins are addressing an area of dire need. With injuries to Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, Brandon Carlo, John Moore and the team needing to be careful with their deployment of Kevan Miller, the Bruins are quite literally on their last legs defensively.
To put it in perspective, the Bruins would roll out a defensive group that featured Jeremy Lauzon, Jakub Zboril, Connor Clifton, Steven Kampfer, Jarred Tinordi and Jack Ahcan on Sunday when they faced off against the Washington Capitals. There was a clear need for some help on defense and with Reilly, the Bruins are getting a veteran who should be capable of stepping in until their blue-line returns to full health.
Even after the team is healthier, Reilly will provide some nice depth for the Bruins as a left-shot defender. The 27-year-old has posted 19 assists in 40 games this season with the Senators, ranking seventh on the team in points and second on the team in assists behind only Thomas Chabot.
While Reilly has had a solid career with the Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens and the Senators, he’s certainly not the be-all, end-all of acquisitions for a Bruins team that’s expected to be active on the trade market prior to the Trade Deadline. Reilly helps fill a need and provides them another puck-moving defender, but he alone won’t be enough to propel the Bruins into legitimate Stanley Cup contenders this season.
Still, his skillset could be exactly what the team is looking for in their top-four barring any bigger trade that could arise prior to the Trade Deadline.
Senators Rebuilding Roster With Great Success
For the Senators, this deal makes a lot of sense. Moving an expiring contract – Reilly is in the final year of a two-year, $3 million deal, the Senators were able to acquire a fairly high draft pick given the fact that they traded a 2021 fifth-round pick and Andrew Sturtz in a deal to acquire Reilly in January of 2020.
Good asset management is the name of the game for a team like the Senators who are just biding their time and collecting assets during this rebuild. It’s not easy for fans to accept a rebuild, but it would be hard to argue that the Senators have done anything but succeed in their task so far. While the immediate future may still look a little bleak, the Senators have one of the very best prospect systems in the league to couple with some already very talented young NHL players
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.