Thursday, December 13, 2012

Significance Of Morgan Rielly Making Team Canada

This afternoon in Calgary, Morgan Rielly was among the Team Canada scratches as the coaches look to make some tough decisions on who to bring to Russia.  This is one occasion where you really want to be scratched as each of the scratched players (outside of possibly Ouellet who's currently injured) are locks to make the team.

Making team Canada as an 18-year old defenseman is no small feat, particularly in a season where your defense is bolstered by an NHL lockout.  Below is a list of defensemen in the last 10-years to make Team Canada at 18 or younger (those players preceded by an asterix were on the WJC team in their draft year):

Griffin Reinhart, 4th overall
Morgan Rielly, 5th overall

*Ryan Murray, 2nd overall
Dougie Hamilton, 9th overall
Jamie Oleksiak, 15th overall
Nathan Beaulieu, 17th overall
Scott Harrington, 54th overall

Erik Gudbranson, 3rd overall

Jared Cowen, 9th overall
Calvin de Haan, 12th overall

Alex Pietrangelo, 4th overall
*Ryan Ellis, 11th overall
Tyler Myers, 12th overall
Colten Teubert, 13th overall
Cody Goloubef, 37th overall 

*Drew Doughty, 2nd overall
*Luke Schenn, 5th overall
Thomas Hickey, 4th overall
Josh Godfrey, 34th overall
PK Subban, 43rd overall

*Karl Alzner, 5th overall

Luc Bourdon, 10th overall
Marc Staal, 12th overall
Sasha Pokulok, 14th overall
Ryan Parent, 18th overall
Kris Letang, 62nd overall
Kris Russell, 67th overall

*Danny Syvret, 81st overall
Cam Barker, 3rd overall

Brayden Coburn, 8th overall
Dion Phaneuf, 9th overall
Brent Seabrook, 14th overall
Shawn Belle, 30th overall
Kevin Klein, 37th overall

Now admittedly, I was expecting the list to provide a little bit of a clearer example of just how strong Rielly's pedigree appears to be, but let's take things a step further and trim the list to 18-year old defensemen taken in the top-10 of the Entry Draft.  If you do this, the list looks as follows:

Reinhart (4)
Rielly (5)
Murray (2)
Gudbranson (3)
Cowen (9)
Pietrangelo (4)
Doughty (2)
Schenn (5)
Hickey (4)
Alzner (5)
Bourdon (10)
Barker (3)
Coburn (8)
Phaneuf (9)

Now we're talking.  The list of 18-year olds to play on team Canada over the past decade is comprised almost entirely of impact defensemen and players who are still thought of as strong prospects and Cam Barker (also, a sad reminder of Luc Bourdon's accident).

This hardly qualifies as science but it does provide an interesting look at Morgan Rielly's pedigree.  While the combination of being a top-10 selection and a member of Canada's World Junior Team as an 18-year old may not guarantee success, the correlation between success and meeting those criteria is incredibly high.  Leafs fans will undoubtedly be looking on with interest as the tournament unfolds during this holiday season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is interesting seeing as Rielly never skated to make the team and especially when you consider what Burke said when they drafted him. Burke said that the management team thought that Rielly was the best available. He has certainly looked capable of skating with the big team.