Nanaimo Clippers defenceman Will Reilly keeps an opponent away from the crease during a game in 2016 at Frank Crane Arena. (News Bulletin file photo)

Former Nanaimo Clippers defenceman signs NHL contract

Seventh-round draft choice Will Reilly signed by Pittsburgh Penguins to two-year deal

A player who was part of a memorable Nanaimo Clippers season is moving on to pro hockey.

The Pittsburgh Penguins organization announced today the signing of defenceman Will Reilly to a two-year entry-level contract.

The 22-year-old was chosen by the Penguins in the seventh round of the 2017 NHL draft, 217th overall, while attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and playing NCAA Div. 1 hockey there.

In 2019-20, his final season at RPI, Reilly served as team captain and was second in goals (eight) and fifth in points (22) among defenceman in his conference. He was chosen a second-team all-star.

“Will had an impressive year in 2019-20 after continuing to improve during his four years at RPI. His commitment to working hard and improving his conditioning has paid off,” said Jim Rutherford, Penguins general manager, in a press release. “We are happy to add another young player, increasing our organizational depth on defence.”

Reilly posted on social media that he is “very happy and proud” to sign his first NHL contract.

Reilly played for the Clippers in 2015-16, when he finished seventh in points (32) on a team memorably led by star forward Sheldon Rempal and captain Devin Brosseau.

Reilly hails from Toronto and is listed at 6-foot-2, 197 pounds.

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