Jul 12, 2013, 4:18 PM EST
Morgan Rielly’s goal is to be playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2013-14.
It’s a realistic objective for the 19-year-old defenseman, as there was a reason he was drafted fifth overall in 2012.
The problem facing Rielly and the Leafs is that, if he’s not quite good enough to crack the NHL, it’s back to the WHL to play against teenagers for the Moose Jaw Warriors. (The AHL isn’t an option because of the agreement between the NHL and CHL.)
Per the Canadian Press, Leafs director of player development Jim Hughes concedes it’s possible Rielly has “outgrown” junior hockey.
In 2012-13, Rielly had 54 points in 60 games for the Warriors. The team’s failure to qualify for the playoffs meant he was then able to join the AHL Marlies for 14 regular-season and eight playoff games. He only had two goals and two assists in those 22 games, but at least he got a sniff of professional hockey.
Hughes says “it’s going to be real dicey to see how this all unfolds” and knows the Leafs have to be careful with their prized prospect. The microscope is powerful in Toronto, and on-ice mistakes can be compounded by the sheer number of people that see and comment on them; just ask Luke Schenn.
- Bernier bests Panthers as Luongo goes from injured (and in street clothes) to back in net 0
- Phaneuf, Cuthbert and Lupul threaten lawsuit after tweet goes to air 48
- Doan: Coyotes rebuild was ‘not my idea, not my ideal situation’ 24
- Video: Kessel says the way Toronto media treats Phaneuf is ‘embarrassing’ 46
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 9
- Rutherford: ‘Our guys felt very strongly about reacquiring’ Lovejoy 49
- Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline 78
- Giordano to have surgery, is ‘done for the season’ 22
- PHT’s 2015 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker 36
- Ducks get their veteran d-man, adding Wisniewski from Columbus 15
- Wild beat Avs, dying seconds fight set stage for rematch (171)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline (78)
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder (74)
- Wings get Zidlicky from Devils (74)