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West Vancouver's Morgan Rielly red hot for Toronto Maple Leafs

Childhood teammate Sam Reinhart also on fire in first half of NHL season
Morgan Rielly
Morgan Rielly leads all NHL defencemen in points so far this season. photo Canadian Press

West Vancouver hockey stars and childhood friends Morgan Rielly and Sam Reinhart have reunited – near the top of the NHL leaderboard.

The two former Hollyburn Huskies are both on fire for their respective clubs, with Rielly lighting it up for the powerhouse Toronto Maple Leafs and Reinhart helping the Buffalo Sabres earn status as the biggest surprise of the first 12 weeks of the season.

Rielly, a 24-year-old defenceman, is in the midst of a breakout season with the Buds. The fifth overall pick from the 2012 draft picked up four assists in a win over the Florida Panthers Thursday, giving Rielly the league lead amongst defencemen with 40 points in 35 games as of Dec. 20. His 11 goals was second amongst blueliners whilst his three game-winning goals was tied for the top mark for the position. Two of those game-winners have come in overtime.

In his sixth season Rielly has already set a career-high mark for goals and was just 12 points back of his current points record, set last season. He’s also a +21 for the 22-10-2 Leafs, who are tied for second overall in the NHL.

Reinhart, a 23-year-old centre, is also lighting up the scoresheet for the surging Sabres. The second overall pick in the 2014 draft has eight goals and 26 assists for 34 points in 35 games, registering a +8 rating. He only needs 17 more points to set a new career high with more than half a season left to play. Reinhart picked up 25 goals and 25 assists in 82 games last season.

The Sabres have been cellar dwellers for most of Reinhart’s career but are blossoming this season with a 20-10-5 record to sit just three points behind the Leafs.

Other North Shore links putting together strong seasons including goaltender Martin Jones, who has 14 wins for the San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche centre Alex Kerfoot who has 18 points in 31 games, and Nashville centre Colton Sissons who has 16 points in 35 games and a +17 rating for the 22-12-2 Predators.