One of the most looked forward to days for the hockey world as we all know is the NHL Draft and Sunday Flyers fans had high hopes that, in the deepest prospect pool since 2003, they would be hard pressed to make bad picks. After the Sixers new GM Sam Hinkie made some huge moves at the NBA Draft, starting a team rebuild, Flyers fans hoped that Holmgren would take a page from Hinkie’s book and make some big moves that would benefit the Flyers in the future. Well fans were disappointed in the not so thrilling draft day the Flyers had, and while everyone’s initial reactions ranged from mild annoyance to agreement to complete confusion, we may be able to find some silver linings to a less than spectacular draft.
I won’t pass any judgments, as every beat writer has already done that, but the general consensus is that the Flyers lost the Draft. Yes lost it.
With their first Pick (11th overall) the Flyers pick Defenseman Samuel Morin.
At 6’6″ your first impressions of Morin might be good, but this Dman from Rimouski Oceanic needs work in just about every area of his game. The reason for his acquisition seems to be his “Broad st. Bullies” style. He’s a big guy who’s known more as an enforcer type. His skating is good for someone of his size, but he is known to make mistakes in his own zone which is a bit troubling, especially for the Flyers. His high pick was confusing for most fans as there were still some higher ranked defensemen still available ( Nikita Zadorov and Ryan Pulock were the favorites still available for the Flyers) while Morin had a lower overall rank of 32. Although he was ranked in the teens by TSN’s Craig Button (13th) and Bob McKenzie(17th). Button gave a short description of him:
“Samuel is obvious because of his size but what has become every bit as obvious is his ability to impact the game not only with that size but with an ever-improving skill set. Very good skater with mobility, balance and quickness. He’s a very difficult player to break down with speed and he is able to use his skating to put opponents into disadvantageous positions. He reads the play well defensively and makes plays under pressure. He has good puck skills and he moves the puck cleanly and effectively. He will assert physically and has a territorial mindset and as he continues to mature, will have the ability to make it very unpleasant to play against him. Has continued to improve and shows the potential to be that big defenseman who is so coveted in the NHL.”
Morin, if fully developed could be a top Dman in the NHL if he can pull his positives together. While some have labeled him as an offensive Defenseman, Morin himself has said otherwise. ”I’m a defensive defenseman. I play a mean game,” and his stats agree, there’s nothing really that suggests that Morin will be raking in points, but he could become just offensive enough to be labeled a two-way defenseman.
While not an amazing pick by the Flyers, Morin has great potential to be one of our top blue liners one day. What some people seem to question is whether he will reach his potential. No doubt he will need some time before he’s NHL ready. Morin, if fully developed could become an asset much like our old captain Chris Pronger and if you haven’t heard Morin is a big fan of Pronger.
With all of the possibilities in Morin there’s still no guarantee that he’ll ever get to that top level. He’s very raw and is seen as a high risk, especially for the Flyers first round pick when they could have gone with a safer pick in Zadorov. Morin was regarded as a pretty off the board pick by some, and yet correctly predicted as the Flyers 1st pick by others.
Here’s some of Morin’s highlights he’s #5 in red.