Former Minnesota defenseman Mike Reilly has chosen to play pro hockey close to home with the Minnesota Wild.


Reilly, who was drafted 98th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, elected to forgo his senior season of eligibility and explore free agency after not signing with Columbus.


Reilly was a two-time All-American and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year at Minnesota, and led the team in points as a junior with 42. His junior season, Reilly had the most points of any defenseman in the NCAA and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, the top honor in college hockey.


Reilly’s father, Mike Sr., is a minority owner of the Wild. Reilly’s twin brothers – forwards Ryan and Connor – are still on the Gophers roster.


Reilly is eligible to officially sign with the Wild on Wednesday.