Prospect Mike Reilly will not be joining the Columbus Blue Jackets once free agency opens, according to Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch.
Columbus had made repeated attempts at signing the 21-year-old defenceman, including both last summer and earlier this year.
“We did everything we could possible do,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told The Dispatch. “From player development since we drafted him, to recruiting him — or whatever you would call it — over the last few months … it wasn’t enough.
“We have to respect it. It’s part of the (collective bargaining agreement). He has this right.”
Reilly was drafted 98th overall by Columbus in the 2011 NHL Draft and spent the last three seasons with the University of Minnesota. This past season, he had six goals and 36 assists in 39 games with the Golden Gophers.
Reilly also played 10 games for the United States at the 2015 world hockey championships, where he had one assist and a plus-three rating.
The Dispatch lists the Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks as destinations where Reilly could possibly end up.
NHL free agency opens on July 1.