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2012 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Morgan Rielly

by Greg Fernandez / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins and CONSOL Energy Center will be hosting the 2012 NHL Draft on June 22nd and 23rd. In the days leading up to the event, will be putting the spotlight on some of the best and brightest draft-eligible prospects.

Position: Defenseman                               
Height: 6-foot                                   
Weight: 190 pounds
Shoots: Left
Born: March 9, 1994                              
Born in: Vancouver, BC, CAN
Played the 2011-12 season with: Moose Jaw Warriors (Western Hockey League)

2009-10 NOTRE DAME SMAAAHL 43 18 37 55
2010-11 MOOSE JAW WHL 65 6 22 28
2011-12 MOOSE JAW WHL 18 3 15 18

NHL Central Scouting:
5 among North American skaters
Hockey News: 6
International Scouting Services: No. 8
McKeen’s Hockey:
Red Line Report: 7
TSN: 7                                        

NHL Comparison: Erik Karlsson
NHL Potential: "Offensive skills will intrigue several teams in the Top 20 despite his knee injury and he'll get a solid opportunity to be an offensive defenseman in the NHL." -Grant MaCagg, TSN

Tearing up the Western Hockey League through the first 18 games of the season (3G-15A-18P), Morgan Rielly began to create buzz about his play and entered the conversation as one of the top defensemen eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft. The previous season, Rielly helped Canada capture gold at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, recording three points (2G-1A) in seven games. Rielly also led Moose Jaw in rookie scoring and was second among defensemen on the team with 28 points (6G-22A) in 65 games. Unfortunately, the two-way defenseman’s 2012 regular season was cut short after suffering a torn ACL against the Calgary Hitmen on Nov. 6, 2011. The defenseman though made a triumphant return April 20, 2012 during the WHL Eastern Conference finals against the Edmonton Oil Kings, recording three assists in five games and displaying to NHL scouts grit and determination after coming back from a serious knee injury. A brilliant distributor of the puck, Rielly is extremely effective on the power play, tallying nine of his 15 assists with the man-advantage. Look for Rielly to be one of the first defensemen off the board early in the 2012 NHL Draft.

“He’s more of a passer than a shooter, but he possesses a quick wrist and snapshot to complement his precision passing skills at the line and is effective on the power-play. His ability to breakout of the zone and the speed he manufactures in his first few strides allows him to flat out beat the majority of the league with his quickness. A capable defensive player who leverages smart stick work and body position to coolly separate opponents from the puck, Rielly has fewere hiccups defensively than most puck-moving defensemen at the same age.”

-McKeen’s Hockey

He captained the Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, Saskatchewan during the 2009-10 season. He led all SMAAAHL defensemen in scoring with 55 points (18G-37A-55P), was named the team’s co-MVP and helped lead the team to a gold medal at the 2010 Canadian National Midget Championship.

Rielly was the co-winner of the 2009 BC Hockey Hall of Fame Minor Hockey Player Achievement Award. The award is handed out annually to a B.C. Amateur Hockey Association player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership, hockey skill, and academic achievement. Past winners include: first-overall draft selection in 2011, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2008); Washington’s Karl Alzner (2003); and Phoenix’s Gilbert Brule (2002).

He lists his father, Andy, as the biggest influence on his career and his hockey hero growing up. His father played in the BCHL for the Surrey Eagles in 1974-75.

NHL team: Vancouver Canucks
NHL player: Kris Letang
Goal celebration: “Jersey pull”
Video game: Call of Duty
Movie: The Lion King
TV show: The Big Bang Theory and Entourage
Actor/Actress: Ryan Gosling and Jennifer Aniston
Cartoon: The Road Runner
Website: Twitter
Pump-up song: ‘Levels (remix)’ by Avicii
Restaurant: Deja Vu in Moose Jaw
Sport (other than hockey): Table tennis and golf

Information courtesy of

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