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All-American defenseman Mike Reilly to return to Gophers

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All-American defenseman Mike Reilly will return to the Gophers hockey team.

Reilly, who was a First Team All-American, was considering an opportunity to move on to professional hockey. He was a fourth round draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011.

The Gopher hockey team made the announcement of Reilly's return on their Twitter account, Wednesday afternoon.

"I'm excited to be coming back to Minnesota next season," Reilly told GopherSports.com. "We've been incredibly successful over the last two years, and I'm looking forward to more of the same next year."

Reilly's return means he will attempt to be only the sixth Gopher in program history to repeat as a First Team All-American.

According to The Daily Gopher, it leaves Kyle Rau and Brady Skeji as the only real flight risks for the Gophers as they will try and defend their Big Ten Championship.

The Gophers fell in the NCAA Championship game to Union 7-4.

According to the report, while there has been no official announcement regarding Skeji, Gopher insiders believe he will return for his junior season. It appears that goaltender Adam Wilcox will come back as well.

The Star Tribune reports the Gophers have yet to lose a player to early departure this offseason and lost just five seniors.

Reilly scored nine goals and 24 assists as a sophomore. In 78 career games, he tallied 47 points, 12 goals and 35 assists over the last two years with the Maroon & Gold.

Reilly's return means he will play with his twin brothers and teammates Conner and Ryan.

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