The Toronto Maple Leafs coach staff and management are already smiling down on their 2012 top draft selection, Morgan Rielly, after completion of the Maple Leafs’ annual prospect camp.
“I think we’re delighted with Morgan Rielly,” said Jim Hughes, the organization’s director of player development. “And it’s not a surprise, it’s what we expected.”
“It was evident when he carried the puck up a few times and moved it and plays with intelligence, you’re saying, ‘My goodness, what we do have here?,’” Leafs director of player development Jim Hughes said after Thursday’s scrimmage.
It make be too early to say, but after Morgan Rielly’s showing at the prospect camp, is it possible that he can do what Jake Gardiner did last season. When Gardiner made an impression on the Maple Leafs’ coaching staff during the 2011 Maple Leafs prospect camp, along with a strong showing during training camp in the fall and preseason, Gardiner made his jump to the NHL, for good.
Could Morgan Rielly make the same jump this fall? Or should Rielly spend another year in the minors and continue to work on his game; especially after being shelved with a torn ACL resulting in 18 games played last season.
For those who do not know, Morgan Rielly is an offensively skilled defenseman that plays a decent defensive game. In addition to being a gifted skater and posse’s excellent puck handling skills, Rielly has a bomb of a shot. The down side is that Rielly is not a physical player at all.
I for one will watch in anticipation for what Morgan Rielly can achieve in his hockey career.
Rant Sports Toronto Maple Leafs Feature Writer
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