Friday, November 10, 2017

Mike Reilly Jersey Card

Although Mike Reilly was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets (fourth round, 98th overall, 2011), the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers alumnus always wanted to wait the Jackets out and sign with his hometown Minnesota Wild upon becoming a free agent prior to the 2015-16 season. His father being a minority owner of the team was just another factor in the equation.

It took him his entire two-year ELC to get acquainted with the professional game, but he's suited up in 13 contests so far this year and has 5 assists so far on a strong team that is playing .500 hockey and should hit its stride soon enough - especially now that starting goalie Devan Dubnyk seems to have found his concentration, with two shutouts in recent games.

Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon may each have 10 points from the blue line thus far, but they're also at -4 apiece, whereas Reilly stands at -1. He was playing 14 minutes per game a couple of weeks ago, a number that's gone down to 11 or so of late, but on a Bruce Boudreau-coached team where Suter's ice time is counted in half-hours, that's fine for a 24-year-old making $750K.

Internationally, he won a gold medal suiting up for Team USA at the 2013 World Juniors and earned bronze at the 2015 World Championships.

I joined a group opening of a box of Upper Deck's 2016-17 SP Game-Used Edition cards and called "goalies" (I had third pick, and "center" and "right-shot defensemen" were taken), hoping to land a Corey Crawford, Marc-André Fleury, Dubnyk, Jaroslav Halak or Pekka Rinne for my collection or a Carey Price to trade or sell, but was blanked; another participant called "left-handed defensemen" and was disappointed with his Reilly pull, so I made him an offer and landed card #RS-MR in the series:
It's part of the Rookie Sweaters sub-set, numbered 183/499 and features a small red swatch from a jersey that was worn in a photo shoot.

I think the card's design is a bit clunky, with both the picture and swatch being so small compared to the "dead air/dead ice" of light blue all over. It's like UD hired a graphics team whose College final exam was to design a box for an Apple product but ultimately failed to work for the tech giant.

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