Morgan Rielly is one of two British Columbia natives who will take a spot on the blueline to represent Team Canada in the upcoming 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships, which begin December 26 in Ufa, Russia.
• MORGAN RIELLY; 3/9/94, West Vancouver, BC – Moose Jaw Warriors — NHL Draft: TOR ’12
Rielly is second on the Warriors with 28 points in 33 games; his 21 assists lead the team in that statistic. He is also sixth in the league in defenseman points scoring, while accruing just five penalty minutes on the season on a Moose Jaw team that is ninth in the Eastern Conference with 31 points and a 12-17-3-4 record.
The 18-year-old defenseman is in his third season with the WHL’s Warriors, having missed the majority of last season due to an ACL injury suffered just 18 games into the season.
He began his Western Hockey League career in 2010-11, playing in 65 games with the Warriors that year. Rielly made his WHL debut on September 24, 2010 against the Swift Current Broncos, scoring his first goal under a month later. The goal – along with a pair of assists – came in a 6-3 Warriors victory over the Kootenay Ice.
He ended his rookie season with six goals and 22 assists in 65 regular season games, before adding six assists in as many playoff games.
His sophomore season (2011-12) began like any other, as Rielly notched three goals and 15 assists in the first 17 games of the season.
Everything changed, however, on November 6, when Rielly suffered a knee injury in a game against the Calgary Hitmen. He eventually underwent surgery and rehabilitation in Vancouver, missing the remainder of the regular season in his draft-eligible year, including the CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game that he would have likely participated in otherwise.
He returned for the playoffs, notching three assists in five games against the Edmonton Oil Kings, and was later selected by the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs with the fifth overall selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.