Mike Reilly Extension

Mike Reilly wasn’t shy about his hopes and intentions to stay on Long Island on New York Islanders clean out day, back on May 1. 

“Hopefully,” Reilly said when asked if he’s found a home on Long Island for next season. “I’ve loved it here, hopefully it works out.” 

Fast forward to July 1 and the defenseman got his wish, inking a one-year contract extension to remain with the club.

That’s good news for player and team, as the veteran defenseman made an impact after being a savvy waiver pickup in November 2023. Reilly put up 24 points (6G, 18A) in 59 games with the Islanders, which marks his second-highest point total in his 13-year career. The 30-year-old averaged 17:15 TOI, bolstering the Islanders blue line.  

“He controls a lot of the flow of our transition game,” said Captain Anders Lee at the end of the season. “I thought he came in with great confidence, he was flying around right away, and his game continued to get better. He made a huge difference in our lineup. We enjoyed his presence and his impact he made on this team.”

Not only did Reilly fit in on the ice, but he seamlessly integrated into the locker room. 

“He's great. I love Mike, I've known him for a number of years and we skate together in the summer,” Brock Nelson said, also at clean out day. “He’s just a happy go-lucky guy, kind of easygoing and just a funny guy to have in the room. I thought he bought in right away and really embraced the group.”

Prior to arriving on Long Island, Reilly was familiar with a handful of the Minnesota guys on the Islanders, and he was embraced by the rest of his new teammates off the bat.  He had an idea of the environment he was stepping into, and his experience matched his high expectations. 

“I heard great things before and it's exactly what I thought [it would be] playing in these last couple of months,” Reilly said at the end of the season. “It was a pretty easy transition. From day one, the guys and the staff took care of me, they were great.”

NYI@DET: Reilly scores goal against James Reimer

Coming from a situation in Florida where he wasn’t seeing much ice time, Reilly expressed his gratitude for a team that gave him the opportunity to play regularly and make an impact.

“I just needed someone to believe in me and if it weren’t for [Islanders President and GM] Lou Lamoriello I wouldn't be here,” Reilly said. “So that's why I kind of want to stay.”

Having seen the impact Reilly made in six months last season and the experience he’s brought, the Islanders are looking forward to another season with Reilly on board. 

“To see him jump in here, into a new situation, I thought he ran with the opportunity,” Nelson said. “He played extremely well for us down the stretch was a big part of the team. He's been around a bit, knows what it takes and he cares about his game and cares about playing.”

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