Toronto Maple Leafs 1st Star of the Month
Morgan Rielly – 12 GP | 1 G | 8 A | 9 Pts | 25:57 TOI
Probably the most underappreciated player on the Toronto Maple Leafs is that of former fifth overall pick Morgan Rielly.
While you will never mistake him as a true number-one defenseman that are saved for names like Cale Makar, Quinn Hughes, Erik Karlson and Drew Doughty; Rielly is a bonified #2 defenseman on any team.
Rielly is the one star player on the team that plays with grit every shift and with the team having one of the weakest defensive cores in the league, Rielly stands out as the one legit blue liner that is making a positive difference every night.
Since the Klingberg injury, Rielly has resumed his spot on the top powerplay unit and has seen his minutes rise.
He eclipsed 30-minutes on Tuesday nights overtime game against the Florida Panthers and has played over 26-minutes six times in November, including another contest where he skated for 29:57 that came at the beginning of the month.
Rielly also had a pair of multi-point games over November, including a three point game against the Minnesota Wild which came with netting his only goal of the month. (all stats nhl.com).
The British Columbia native currently sits top 15 in blue line scoring, while also sitting seventh in average ice-time. Rielly has always been under valued around the league and with the All-Star Game back in Toronto, there could be a chance that fans see #44 skating in his first mid-season festivities.
Rielly now sits fourth in games and points by Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman and needs just 28-points to catch Tim Horton for third.