Reece Willcox
Image: NHL

Reece Willcox


Surrey British Columbia

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5th round (141st overall), 2012


185 lbs.

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2009-10: Reece Willcox skated for the Surrey Thunder midget AAA team in his hometown. He was selected by the Portland Winterhawks in the third round (59th overall) of the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.

2010-11: Willcox skated for the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials; maintaining his NCAA eligibility. In his first season of junior hockey he scored 5 goals with 18 assists and had 26 penalty minutes. Merritt finished sixth in the BCHL’s eight-team Interior Conference. In four playoff games Willcox scored 1 goal with 2 assists.

2011-12: Willcox skated in 52 of 60 games for Merritt in his second BCHL season and played for Canada Pacific in the  2012 U19 World Junior A Challenge. He scored 5 goals with 18 assists and had 26 penalty minutes as the Centennials finished second in the Interior Conference. In nine playoff games Willcox scored 2 goals with 2 assists and had 6 penalty minutes as the Centennials reached the conference finals. Willcox was named to the BCHL’s Second All-Star team. He committed to playing college hockey at Cornell in 2012-13 in December. His WHL rights were obtained from Portland by Everett in the Seth Jones trade in May. Willcox was ranked 90th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.

2012-13: Willcox played in 34 games for Cornell as a freshman. Paired with senior Nick D’Agostino (Pittsburgh), he had 5 assists and was +3 with 8 penalty minutes. The season was a bit of a roller coaster for the Big Red, who lost 10 of 11 games in one mid-season stretch before going 6-1-1 heading into the ECAC Hockey playoffs. After finishing ninth, Cornell took league regular season champion Quinnipiac to double overtime in the decisive third game of their best-of-three quarterfinal series.

2013-14: Willcox was one of five defensemen to skate in all 32 games for Cornell in his sophomore season. He scored 2 goals with 5 assists and was plus-3 with 10 penalty minutes. The Big Red finished fourth in ECAC Hockey and defeated Clarkson in a three-game quarterfinal series before falling to eventual national champion Union, 5-2, in the ECAC Hockey semifinals. 

2014-15: Willcox battled through injury in his junior season at Cornell, skating in 21 of 31 games for the Big Red. He scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was +2 with 10 penalty minutes. Cornell finished seventh in ECAC Hockey; finishing 11-14-6 after being swept by Union in a first-round conference playoff series.

2015-16: Willcox signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Flyers in March 2016 following his senior season at Cornell University. He made his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, scoring 1 goal with 2 assists and finishing +2 with 8 penalty minutes in six late season games. The Phantoms finished seventh in the Atlantic Division, missing the AHL playoffs. Willcox was a team captain for Cornell in his final season of college hockey. He scored 2 goals with 11 assists and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in 33 games. The Big Red finished tied with Dartmouth for seventh in ECAC Hockey, sweeping Union College in an ECAC first-round series and splitting two games with eventual champion Quinnipiac in the quarterfinals before falling 6-3 in the decisive third game.

Talent Analysis

Willcox is a stay-at-home defenseman who plays a conservative game. He uses his size to his advantage and has the stamina and determination to play a lot of minutes.


Willcox signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers following his senior season at Cornell in 2015-16, making his pro debut with the AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms. A reliable defender who saw lots of ice time during his college career at Cornell, he is expected to be a complimentary stay-at-home partner for some of the free wheelers in the Flyers' organization.

Philadelphia Flyers’ collegiate prospect pool still strong on defense

by Jashvina Shah
Photo: Mark Friedman is enjoying a standout freshman season on the blueline with Bowling Green State University. (Courtesy of Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Mark Friedman is enjoying a standout freshman season on the blueline with Bowling Green State University. (Courtesy of Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)


Despite Shayne Gostisbehere’s departure to the professional ranks, the Philadelphia Flyers still possess a number of solid defensive prospects at the collegiate level, including Nick Luukko, Reece Willcox and Mark Friedman. Read more»

Top 20 Philadelphia Flyers prospects are deep at defense

by Jashvina Shah
Scott Laughton - Philadelphia Flyers

Scott Laughton has split duties between Philadelphia and the team’s AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley this season. (Courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)


There are not any drastic changes in the Flyers Top 20, and Scott Laughton retains the top position in a prospect pool that is mostly populated with defensemen. Shayne Gostisbehere, Samuel Morin and Travis Sanheim are the top blue liners in the system, but are joined by several others in the Top 10—including Robert Hagg and Mark Alt. Read more»