Is Morgan Rielly a must have or a luxury?

In this interesting climate of the Leafs coming off a five losses in six skid, having the flatest caps for the foreseeable future, wanting to make trades, and identifying four young top prospects and the first round draft pick as possible trade chips, it seems like it may be time to once again discuss Morgan Rielly and his place on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Let’s start with the important qualifier of Morgan Rielly being a top tier offensive defenseman. Since his days in junior he’s always been more of a fourth forward than a defenseman and his ability to drive play up the ice consistently has always made the fact that he doesn’t offer anything positionally in his own end an acceptable outcome.
Rielly’s defensive game warrants criticism, but a big part of his strength does still start in his own zone, as he’s capable of carrying the puck out of his zone or completing a solid pass to give the Leafs a better than average chance of creating a scoring chance at the other end. He is panicked, he’s a quick thinker, and knows how plays develop. It makes sense that he’s …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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