|North Bay Battalion|
|Owen Sound Attack|
|Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds|
|Acadie-Bathurst Titan||Baie-Comeau Drakkar|
|Blainville-Boisbriand Armada||Cape Breton Screaming Eagles|
|Charlottetown Islanders||Chicoutimi Sagueneens|
|Drummondville Voltigeurs||Gatineau Olympiques|
|Halifax Mooseheads||Moncton Wildcats|
|Quebec Remparts||Rimouski Oceanic|
|Rouyn-Noranda Huskies||Saint John Sea Dogs|
|Shawinigan Cataractes||Sherbrooke Phoenix|
|Val-d'Or Foreurs||Victoriaville Tigres|
A busy summer for Morgan Rielly has come to an end with his return to Moose Jaw. Last season Rielly suffered a knee injury 18 games into the year, after having surgery and then going through an intense rehab he made his way back into the Warriors lineup in time for the 2012 Eastern Conference Final against the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Unfortunately the Warriors weren’t able to move on in the playoffs, but that was just the start of a whirlwind couple of months for Rielly. After the team went their separate ways Rielly headed to Toronto for the annual NHL Draft Combine, from there it was off to Pittsburgh for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft where he was taken fifth overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Rielly attended the Leafs summer camp in July, and then in August he took part in the Canada-Russia Challenge which saw some of our nation’s top major junior players take on the Russians in a four game series that took place in both countries and was a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series.
After having such a crazy schedule over the past couple of months Rielly admits that it’s nice to be back in the Friendly City. “It’s been pretty hectic with all the travelling around, I was certainly pretty happy to get her and unpack and get comfortable for a little bit,” he said. “It’s great, I’ve always enjoyed going to Toronto but there’s always camera’s around and there’s always people asking questions. It’s nice to come back here and hang out with the guys.”
“I can’t wait, it’s been a pretty long time since I’ve had that jersey on,” said Morgan when talking about pulling on the Warriors colors again. “I can’t wait to get started; I’m pretty excited about it.”
The Vancouver product is entering his third year with the Warriors, but due to his injury last year he’s only played one full season in the WHL (2010-11). In total he’s suited up for 83 games and has nine goals and 46 points, his offense and skating ability is well known, but this year he says he’s looking forward to taking a leadership role and showing that side of his game.
“I’m 18 year’s old now and that has to be an aspect of who I am as a player this year. I think it’s important and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Rielly. “It’s certainly going to be a huge part of my game this year, I like to lead by example and I like to talk a bit in the room and keep the guys concentrated.”
As Rielly makes the adjustment to being a seasoned veteran, he was pretty quick to offer advice to younger defencemen looking to make their way in the WHL. “I would tell them to play their game. When you come into the league you’re not really sure what to expect in terms of the pace, I would tell them to enjoy it and play their game. They’re all very skilled hockey players and I think they just have to keep doing what they’ve been doing over their careers.”
As Rielly prepares to make his 2012-13 debut with the Warriors, fans east of Moose Jaw are wondering if and when he’ll be making his debut in Maple Leaf blue. As the situation between the NHL and the Players Association continues to unfold, Rielly says the hard part is that it could postpone his first ever NHL training camp which is always a memorable experience for junior players.
“It’s always tough when you might not have that opportunity but hopefully I’ll have a chance to go in a year from now. I’m not too worried about that right now; I know they still have a few weeks to come up with an agreement, so, who knows maybe there will be a camp. Right now I’m just concentrated on our camp here in Moose Jaw and staying strong in case there is a camp (in Toronto).”
Rielly and the Warriors practice several times over the long weekend and held a team bonding activity on Saturday, they’ll continuing practice throughout the work week as they prepare for next weekend’s pre-season home and home series against Swift Current which starts Friday in Maple Creek.
Reminder to fans that season tickets will be available for pick up Wednesday, September 5th at 9am, and then for the remainder of the work week during business hours. On Saturday, September 8th the Warriors Office will be open from 9am to 5pm, and then again Sunday, September 9th from 9am to 3pm for season ticket holders to pick up their packages.