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11-15-2012, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BobloblawLeaf View Post
When do some non-leaf fans realistically envision Rielly making the Leafs as a top-4 defense man?

Many leaf fans (myself included) think there's a good chance he'll be ready for prime-time next season. After watching him play in about 7 games, he's been the most dynamic player on the ice in 3 or 4 of them and I've always come away impressed. I'd like to hear some non-biased opinions from people who've taken the time to watch him play in multiple games and not just seen his highlight videos.
I'm a Leafs fan, but I like to think of myself as not TOO biased, and I have seen him play a decent amount. In terms of offence and general ability with the puck, Rielly is NHL ready right now. In terms of defensive play (in the neutral zone and his own zone) and physicality, he's not ready. He'd also be quite a bit more dangerous offensively with further work on his shot.

Hard to say when he'll be ready, because he's very ready in certain areas, but really not ready in others. You can throw a winger right into the fire if he's dynamic offensively but not yet well rounded, because wingers have less responsibility in their own end, but for dmen you generally want them to be more polished/complete before throwing them into the NHL. I think Rielly is close to a lock to stay in the WHL this year, even if the NHL comes back. Next year will be a tough decision, it would be ideal to let him develop in the AHL, but that's impossible because of the CHL/AHL age/experience restrictions. He'll probably be "too good" for the WHL next year, but will his game be complete enough for the NHL?

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