Toronto Maple Leafs Prospect Morgan Rielly Is Shining for Canada at WJHC

Jon Reid@@JonReidCSMCorrespondent IIDecember 29, 2012

The 2013 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships are well under way in Ufa, Russia with the round-robin games coming to a close in a few days.

Canadian fans have seen their team win both of its games, yet the team hasn't seemed as infallible as past teams.

One of the brightest stars on the 2013 squad, though, is Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Morgan Rielly, who has been sensational thus far.

Not only does Rielly lead all defensemen in points with four, but three of his four points came in Canada's tough match against Slovakia.

In fact, he's outshone fellow Canadian defenseman and superprospect Dougie Hamilton.

While both youngsters have played in each of Canada's two contests, Hamilton has three less points than Rielly and six less shots on goal.

Both players have a player rating of plus-three and have yet to take a penalty in regular competition, but a case can be made for Rielly being a much more valuable player.

Take for instance his performance against Slovakia.

Not only did the young gun register a goal and two assists in the win, but he scored a huge power-play goal to pull the Canadian team to within one as it trailed the Slovaks by a score of 3-1 midway through the second period.

Rielly would then go on to assist the game-tying goal as well.

If you take into account Canada's pre-tournament matchups with Finland and Sweden, Rielly has been more impressive than Hamilton, who combined to take four penalties in those two games.

Two games into the tournament, Rielly has shown just how good he can be at both ends of the ice.

He's proved to be a strong presence on the power play (he's picked up multiple points on the man advantage), great with the puck and reliable when playing five on five.

Rielly has not only proved his mettle against his opposition in the CHL, he is now starting to show his worth against some of the top junior talent in the world.

 

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