Morgan Rielly is a solid defenseman. Yet, this season, he has emerged as a linchpin for the Toronto Maple Leafs. With his showing on the season, he has also had a bit of a resurgence in his game. He’s been solid as a defenseman; but, this season his play has lifted his status even higher as a key defenseman.

As the Maple Leafs push hard to gain the postseason, Rielly’s contributions have been beyond solid. There’s a good reason he’s going to be one of the team’s All-Star representatives.

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Comparing Morgan Rielly’s Current Season with Last Season

A noticeable shift in Rielly’s play becomes evident when comparing this season to the previous one. This transformation, initially seen during last season’s playoffs, has carried over into the 2023-24 season. Rielly has become more engaged in the offensive zone. He frequently joins the attack, creating scoring chances, and showing his enhanced positional awareness in his defensive responsibilities.

On the scoresheet, Rielly is making a significant impact. He’s currently on pace for an impressive 68 points for the season. Should he achieve that level of production, it would tie his second-most productive season (in 2021-22). He’s been nothing but consistently effective. He’s already passed his goal total from last season and is closing in on his assist numbers.

Rielly’s offensive contributions have been remarkable.

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Rielly Has Been Eating Up Significant Minutes on the Ice

One of the standout aspects of Rielly’s game this season is his high ice time. He’s averaging 24 minutes and 19 seconds per game, which is the highest in his career. However, he’s shown the ability to handle substantial minutes effectively. His performance against elite competition has been solid. He’s been on the ice for a remarkable 56.7 goals-for percentage, which shows both his defensive ability and his impact on the team’s overall success.

As noted, to recognize his good season, Rielly has earned his first All-Star appearance. This accolade is well-deserved, given his multi-faceted contributions as the fourth-highest scorer for the Maple Leafs. His shooting percentage, though seemingly modest at 5.7%, stands above the average for NHL defensemen, reaffirming Rielly’s effectiveness in both offensive and defensive aspects of the game.

Rielly Brings Solid Production to the Maple Leafs’ Power Play

Also noteworthy is Rielly’s surprising power-play production. He’s put up 13 points with the man advantage. He also can make significant offensive contributions from the defenseman position. This ability adds an extra layer to his value, further emphasizing his importance to the team’s success.

In the bottom line, Rielly’s performance this season goes beyond statistics. He’s become a key player on the team. He brings great defensive stability and a dynamic offensive presence. The team leans on him to be a key factor on the backend, and Rielly has risen to the occasion.

He’s earned his first All-Star appearance. Better yet, he’s been an outstanding contributor to the Maple Leafs’ success this season.

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