When the Toronto Maple Leafs picked Morgan Rielly fifth overall in the 2012 NHL Draft, they were also picking the fifth player of said draft who would reach 100 career NHL points - and the first defenceman to get them, at that.
In the midst of a four-point night, Rielly reached that milestone. It was his first four-point game - and, via the Elias Sports Bureau, he’s one of the youngest Leafs defenceman to ever do it.
At age 22, Rielly is the second-youngest defenseman ever to score four points in one game for the Maple Leafs. Al Iafrate was 21 years old when he notched two goals and two assists in a 5-2 win over the Devils at Maple Leaf Gardens on Oct. 10, 1987.
Iafrate is a pretty good name to be in company with. Also: just think of all the defencemen who have come and gone for the Leafs in between these four-point games, and it just becomes even more apparent than it already was (and it was already pretty apparent) how special Rielly is.
It isn’t just with the Leafs, though: four-point games aren’t exactly super common among young defencemen, period.
Before Friday, the only four-point game by an NHL defenseman age 22 or younger over the last four seasons was recorded by the Stars' John Klingberg with two goals and two assists on Jan. 31, 2015 at Winnipeg (when he was a slightly "younger 22" than Rielly).
Rielly isn’t a rookie, so he doesn’t get to be counted in with the impressive trio that is William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and Auston Matthews. But he is only 22 years old, and right up there with the Leafs’ top scorers - and there’s a lot to look forward to in that.