December 13, 2012 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Moose Jaw Warriors
Moose Jaw Warrior Morgan Rielly is one of five players from the WHL to be named to Hockey Canada's 2013 World Junior Championship team. Hockey Canada announced its 23 man roster; joining Rielly is JC Lipon (Kamloops), Ty Rattie (Portland), Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton), and Tyler Wotherspoon (Portland). Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who's played with Red Deer, is on load from the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons.
The 18 year old is no stranger to international competition, Rielly was a part of Team Pacific at the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge, and played for Canada at the Under 18's, the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament, and the four game Canada-Russia Challenge held earlier this year.
In his third season with the Warriors, Rielly leads the team with 21 assists and is second in team scoring with 32 points. In June 2012 he was selected fifth overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs, becoming the highest Warrior ever drafted into the NHL. His selection marks the fourth straight year that a Moose Jaw Warrior has played for Canada at the World Juniors; Travis Hamonic wore the maple leaf in 2010 while Quinton Howden played in 2011 and 2012.
He is also the 13th Warrior to play for Canada at the World Juniors; Theoren Fleury (1987-88), Mike Keane (1987), Chris Armstrong (1994), Ryan Smyth (1995), Curtis Brown (1996), Jamie Lundmark (2000), Nathan Paetch (2002-03), Brian Sutherby (2002), Dustin Boyd (06), Riley Holzapfel (2008), Travis Hamonic (2010), Quinton Howden (2011-12).
Rielly is not the only player at this year's tournament with ties to the Warriors organization. 18 year old Frederik Tiffels, who was drafted by Moose Jaw in the first round of the 2012 CHL Import Draft, has been named to Germany's world junior team. Tiffels, 6'0 185lbs, is eligible for the 2013 NHL Entry draft and has 14 assists in 23 games with Muskegon in the USHL.
Other international Warriors who have played at the World Juniors are; Tomas Fleishmann, Czech Republic, 2003-04; Masi Marjamaki, Finland, 2004-05; Antonin Honejsek, Czech Republic, 2011. Pavel Kubina, who played 61 games with the Warriors in the 1996-97 season, played for the Czech Republic at the 1996 World Juniors, a season before coming to Moose Jaw.
The National Junior team leaves for Europe on Saturday where they'll play two pre-competition games in Helsinki prior to opening the tournament. Canada's first game at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships Boxing Day against Germany (3:30am); December 28th they'll take on Slovakia (3:30am); December 30th they collide with the United States (3:30am); They finish off the round robin New Year's Eve against Russia (8am); Quarterfinals are slated for January 2nd, the semi-finals are January 3rd, the gold and bronze medal games are Saturday, January 5th.