As reported by everybody, Morgan Rielly’s three-year entry-level deal was signed Friday afternoon. Not too much of a story here because it’s rare that a team won’t sign its first round pick.
However it’s interesting that the Leafs stuck with the three-year term. For the new collective bargaining agreement, part of the owners’ proposal was to lengthen entry-level deals to five years. The Leafs aren’t the only team to sign their first rounder, but I’m wondering whether there was no thought on the part of the team to “well, why don’t we see if ELCs are lengthened in the CBA”?
But that’s a minor quibble. If the Leafs don’t rush Rielly’s development, it’ll be five years anyway before they even have to worry about his second deal. Rielly missed most of this past WHL season with an ACL injury, so it’s safe to say that unlike Luke Schenn, Rielly probably won’t spend his 18-year old season in the pros. There are no options for him other than the NHL or the WHL.