Morgan Rielly scored his first career goal last night as the Toronto Maple Leafs fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins in an intense and highly contested game. It only took the highly regarded rookie 26 contests to finally tickle the twine, but Rielly showed why he’s one of the top prospects in the world on the goal.
It seems like a play that won’t be too dangerous. Rielly hangs onto the puck as he crosses the blue line, and the Penguins seem to have him boxed out effectively. He lets a wicked wrister off the chain though, and netminder Marc-Andre Fleury seems mildly bewildered by the shot.
The timing of the goal could make life tricky for Toronto. They are still deliberating about whether or not they should loan Rielly to Team Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championship. The 19-year-old spoke to Mike Zeisberger of The Toronto Sun and had this to say about the looming decision:
It’s been crazy. It’ll be nice to have the questions stop about whether I’m staying or going to Team Canada. I pretty much have been getting asked about it every day.
Rielly hadn’t been able to find the back of the net yet, but he’s been dynamic for a teenager on the blue line. The goal came on his 41st shot of the season, and he’s been playing close to 18 minutes a night for the Leafs.