In (somewhat) expected news, the Toronto Maple Leafs will not be releasing young defenseman Morgan Rielly for the World Junior Hockey Championships taking place in Sweden.
TOR has decided Morgan Rielly will NOT be loaned to Canada’s national junior team for the WJC.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 18, 2013
After several games spent as a healthy scratch, it appeared as if the door for Rielly joining Team Canada had opened a crack, but with his return to the line up in the past week, it became unlikely that the Leafs would let him go.
Whether or not holding Rielly back from participating in the WJC’s depends largely on how Randy Carlyle decides to use the young defenseman over the next several weeks. If Rielly once again finds himself inexplicably stapled to the bench for an extended period of time, the opportunity to be Team Canada’s Captain, and assert his dominance on the World stage could be a hindrance to his development. On the other hand if Rielly continues to rightfully play above bastions of awful hockey Paul Ranger and Mark Fraser, Rielly’s development will be best served by playing those NHL minutes.
As Leafs fan this is good news, Rielly quite simply makes the team better at this point. As someone looking forward to the World Juniors, it should come as a disappointment as Rielly would have been poised to dominate the inferior opposition, giving Leafs fans and the NHL a glimpse of what to expect in the near future.
What do you think, are you happy with the Leafs decision?