From the BCHL:
They both patrolled the blueline in Penticton. They both were named the BCHL’s Top Defenceman. And with the Stanley Cup Finals going on, both are dominant in the hockey headlines.
They are Duncan Keith and Mike Reilly, separated by 10 years in age but equally topical in the hockey world at the moment.
Keith, who won the BCHL Top Defenceman award in 2001 before going to Michigan State, is currently averaging about 29 minutes of ice time a night as the Hawks are in the hunt for a third Stanley Cup in five seasons.
Reilly, who got the hardware in 2012 as part of a Vees’ dream season and RBC Cup national championship, is garnering huge interest from several NHL clubs after de-registering from the University of Minnesota following his junior season.
Keith continues to wow fans and analysts alike by continually logging more ice than anyone else and continually producing at an all-world level with 20 points in 21 playoff games. In an air-tight series like this Finals against Tampa Bay has been, Keith’s performance has him listed as a favourite for the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Reilly has generated his share of ink by making it known he’s exploring the free-agent market despite being drafted in the fourth round by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011. He could become one of Keith’s teammates soon as he was hosted by the Blackhawks on Monday for Game 3 of the Finals. The 6-foot, 185-pound defenceman was named BIG 10 Defensive Player of the Year this past season and suited up for Team USA at the World Championships where he helped the squad to a bronze medal.
Now, because he played a year of BCHL hockey before going to the University of Minnesota, he’ll be a free agent on June 15 and NHL teams – Columbus among them – are wasting no time in trying to land the top young talent.
Monday brings the official start of Free Agency for Reilly. It could also be the day the Stanley Cup is handed out. It could be a very exciting day for a couple of BCHL graduates.