After being away from his teammates for both the World Junior Championships and the Leafs’ pre-season camp, Morgan Rielly returned to Moose Jaw and the Warriors returned to the win column for the first time since his departure.
In three games this weekend, Rielly picked up three assists and Moose Jaw was able to score a pair of wins. For those of you hoping, as I am, for Rielly to join the Marlies in the AHL playoffs, don’t fret; the Warriors are still 10 points behind 8th place Saskatoon who also have 3 games in hand on Moose Jaw. The chances of this team make the playoffs are slim so an extended stay in the AHL is almost certainly in the cards for Rielly.
In contrast to Rielly, Josh Leivo and his Kitchener Rangers look to be headed toward an extended playoff run in the OHL. Since being traded from Sudbury to Kitchener, Leivo has continued to put up better than a point per game. Unsurprisingly, his goal production has taken a bit of a dip as he hasn’t been expected to carry the offensive load with the Rangers to the same extent as he was with the Wolves but he’s still managed 3 goals and 8 assists in 10 games with Kitchener. Leivo currently sits 16th in OHL scoring and is one of the better defensive forwards in the OHL to boot.
Erie Otters forward Connor Brown continues to put up points and sits 10th in OHL scoring in his draft+1 season. He’s had some pretty creative assists in the games that I’ve seen and his passing might just be the attribute he’ll rely on at the pro level. His goal totals are inflated by a pretty spectacular 14 powerplay goals and I’m not sure how sustainable those kind of totals will be for him moving forward. Suffice to say, he and the other Connor (McDavid) have developed some solid chemistry and I’d expect that as McDavid moves from ‘good player’ to ‘OHL Superstar’ that Brown could easily find himself even higher on the list next season.
Matt Finn continues to struggle with a bout of mono that forced him to miss time earlier in the year and has been out of the lineup for the last 10 days. It’s pretty impressive that he’s been able to play as well as he has in the interim despite the illness. Hopefully he’ll be able to permanently shake it soon and get back to the level he was playing at early in the season where he was among the OHL’s leading scorers among defensemen while playing in every situation.[table “63” not found /]
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