Who says Brian Burke is full of hot air?
Leafs TV aired it’s annual ‘Behind the Draft’ special this past Friday, and shone a little more light on the Morgan Rielly selection. Immediately after Burke took to the podium and called Rielly’s name, and before Rielly reached the stage, the microphone picks up a quick conversation between Burke and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
"Is that who you wanted?" Bettman asks.
"We had him first… rated first overall." Burke responds.
Now, we’ve heard this before. Burke told the media shortly after the pick that the Leafs had Rielly ranked first, ahead of Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, and Alex Galchenyuk. However, nobody really believed him. Most wrote the comment off as ‘Burke being Burke’, but maybe this small clip will change some folks’ minds. Perhaps the Leafs actually did think Rielly was the best player available in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Perhaps he’ll turn out to be.
Another little tidbit that came out of ‘Behind the Draft’: New York Islanders GM Garth Snow called the Leafs draft table just before the Isles’ pick to talk trade, making the 4th overall pick available. After a small pow-wow Burke returned to the Leafs table and asked his scouts if they want to move up. The scouts emphatically said ‘No’. The Leafs stayed put, and the rest is history.
As for Rielly’s on-ice accomplishments, four assists in Friday’s 8-4 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers brings the blueliner’s point totals to seven goals and 36 points in 41 game – good for 8th in scoring amongst defencemen. It would be safe to assume higher numbers had it not been for the World Juniors Championships and an NHL training camp.
It looks like Joshua Leivo is enjoying his time in Kitchener so far, or so his stat line would lead us to believe. The Rangers winger had a goal and two assists in two weekend games, and is currently on a nine game point streak (three goals, nine assists. Leivo sits 16th in OHL scoring with 23 goals and 58 points in 46 games.
Everyone’s favorite college speed demon, Tony Cameranesi, scored a goal and assist in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to University of Denver. The Minnesota-Duluth forward has 11 goals and 24 points in 26 games this season, sitting a single point behind St. Cloud State Finnish import Kalle Kossila for the lead in WCHA freshmen scoring.
Lastly, Max Everson is set to take part in the USHL’s first ever outdoor game this coming Saturday, when his Omaha Lancers face off against the Lincoln Stars. Everson started the season playing NCAA hockey for the Harvard Crimson, but left the team following an "academic scandal". With Omaha, Everson has contributed a goal and five assists in 16 games from the backend.