Morgan Rielly named to Team Canada

Hardly a shocker. Maple Leafs fifth overall select from this past draft Morgan Rielly was one of seven defencemen to make Team Canada for the IIHF U-20 world championship. He didn’t play in either of the scrimmages against Canadian university squads, neither did any of the favourites to make the team.

Bob McKenzie suggests he’ll play with Dougie Hamilton on the top pairing for Team Canada, a decent troll job by Canada coach Steve Spott if there ever was one. The remaining defenders will be fellow WHLers Griffin Reinhart and Tyler Wotherspoon, OHLers Ryan Murphy and Scott Harrington and the QMJHL’s Xavier Ouellet.

Rielly plays an elite offensive game for this level. Paired with Hamilton or Harrington he’d be a two-way threat. This is a good chance for Leaf fans to get familiar with a prospect whose stock has soared since Burke took him back in June.

Here are the 18-year olds since 2005 to make Team Canada as an 18-year old defenceman:

  • Dougie Hamilton
  • Scott Harrington
  • Erik Gudbranson
  • Ryan Ellis
  • Jared Cowen
  • Calvin de Haan
  • Colton Teubert
  • Tyler Myers
  • Alex Pietrangelo
  • Thomas Hickey
  • Drew Doughty
  • Luke Schenn
  • PK Subban
  • Karl Alzner
  • Luc Bourdon
  • Kristopher Letang
  • Ryan Parent
  • Kris Russell
  • Marc Staal
  • Cam Barker

Impact players bolded. That’s pretty good company for Rielly, especially when you look to the potential of players like de Haan, Ellis, Gudbranson, Hamilton and Harrington, who haven’t yet had a chance to show what they can do at the NHL level.

Rielly scored four points in the four-game Canada-Russia challenge this summer. In other Team Canada experience, he picked up four points in five games at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka U-18 challenge.

We now go live to Morgan Rielly:

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