Burke: Reilly was #1 on our list
... But just minutes after the Leafs drafted him fifth overall and he first donned the Blue and White up on the stage, GM Brian Burke pronounced that the Moose Jaw defenceman had been the top name on their list."
"He looked like a player. Did he show enough to be the first overall? No. I don't see how anyone could have him ahead of (Edmonton's No. 1 overall Nail) Yakupov based on such a small sample, especially with a question about an injury out there."
I'd say Rielly might have been (the overall No. 1) for an organization based on what he had done before his injury. I liked him more than Ryan Murray
, said one Western scout. He has more upside, more play-making offensive ability. Murray will be a good player but the creative part of the game, that's Rielly's strength. Murray would be the sound defensive player who would allow a player like Rielly or Ryan Murphy to go do his thing. And I see Rielly as a better risk-reward bet than Murphy -- the upside with Rielly might be higher and there's less risk of him not being able to help you.
"If he was the Leafs' No. 1 overall on their list, I'd say congratulations, that's a good pick."
Article was written by Gare Joyce, who ripped Burke when he claimed that Reilly was the #1 talent on his board. Joyce uses this article as an way to apologize to Burke:
While i think it was dumb that Burke dumped a lot of pressure on Reilly with that comment, Joyce comes to the conclusion that it was very plausible that some teams had Reilly #1 on their draft list. In the article Joyce also acknowledges that teams would have a hard time taking Reilly at the #5 spot let alone first overall, but that was because of his injury that limited his playing time just before the draft.
Brian Burke, please forgive me for ever doubting you.