We know that Morgan Rielly is a pretty good defenceman. He was selected fifth overall, he’s already coming up on 100 career points (only four players from his draft class have reached that total to date), he was chosen to be one of Team North America’s defencemen, and he even has his own Pop! coming.
So we know he’s good.
But with him playing in the World Cup of Hockey, others are getting to appreciate him, too.
Specifically: Rielly’s current coach, Todd McLellan.
Todd McLellan says his appreciation for how good Morgan Rielly is has gone way up in this tournament.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) September 20, 2016
In fairness to McLellan, he wouldn’t have had a chance to see very much of Rielly before the tournament. He was the longtime bench boss of the San Jose Sharks, and now he’s in Edmonton: two western conference teams. They don’t exactly get to see that much of the Leafs.
It’s only been a couple of games - exhibition and round robin - but to see Rielly make that kind of impression on someone that quickly, particularly on a team full of standouts - that’s a pretty good indictment of where we’re headed, isn’t it?
Rielly’s only 22. With him here, the future of the Leafs’ blueline looks pretty alright.