Well Morgan Rielly can breathe easy. He will remain with the Toronto Maple Leafs and not be loaned to Team Canada’s World Junior team. After months of back and forth of will he or won’t he, we finally have our answer.
In 27 games so far this season, Rielly has one goal and nine assists for 10 points. Hardly groundbreaking numbers, but Rielly is still learning the NHL game.
The biggest question concerning him going to the World Juniors was whether he would develop better in December to January with the Leafs or Team Canada.
If he were to go to the World Juniors, he would have been part of the leadership group of the team as he would have been a returning player. He would also have a more prominent role with Team Canada. That would definitely be helpful for his development.
On the other hand, staying with the Leafs lets him play against men, the big boys of the NHL. Getting used to that as soon as possible helps all young prospects, defensemen and forwards alike. By staying with the Leafs, Rielly will get to continue learning the NHL game in the next month rather than stepping away.
Now, the only caveat is how Randy Carlyle intends to use him for the coming month. This announcement makes it seem that Carlyle plans on using him in every game. However, we’ve seen more than one occasion in which Carlyle benches Rielly for consecutive games. If he does that during the World Juniors, it would make the decision a bad one.
We’ll see how it all works out, but right now, Rielly has given the Leafs no choice but to keep him with his play as of late.
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