Morgan Rielly has been the talk of Toronto Maple Leafs training camp.
The rookie defenceman has caught the attention of his veteran teammates, including centre Tyler Bozak.
“I’m really impressed,” Bozak told Jim Lang of Sportsnet 590 The Fan after the team’s intra-squad scrimmage on Wednesday. “He’s so patient. It’s crazy to see such a young kid to be so patient.
“We saw it in the scrimmage on breakouts and power play. He’s always making the right play and being patient with the puck. I’m really impressed.”
With defenceman Jake Gardiner recovering from a concussion, Rielly could find himself in the lineup when the Leafs open up the regular season against the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night.
The Leafs paired Rielly with captain Dion Phanuef during Wednesday’s scrimmage, a unit the team could use in their season opener.
“He does not look out of place, at all,” Phaneuf told the National Post. “I really like the way that he’s carried himself on the ice. He’s practised like a professional, and he looks really good.”
“You give the kid the security blanket of playing with (Phaneuf),” Leafs head coach Carlyle told reporters Wednesday. “I thought he showed flashes of his ability to skate.”
The Leafs selected Rielly with the fifth overall pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft after he scored seven goals and 21 assists in 33 games with Moose Jaw last season.