Another top prospect is on his way up to the NHL, as the Philadelphia Flyers have recalled Samuel Morin from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The 11th-overall pick in the 2013 draft will make his NHL debut should he make it into the lineup tonight against the New Jersey Devils. With the Flyers eliminated from playoff contention, it is expected they’ll give Morin and Mike Vecchione a look in the last few games to see if they are viable options for next season.
The fact that Morin hasn’t made a mark on the league yet shouldn’t be seen as red flag, as the 6’7″ 227-lbs defenseman needed time to grow into his frame and develop the raw talent he had shown in the QMJHL. After two excellent seasons in the AHL, it looks like he is ready to take that next step. Never an offensive producer, his 15 points in 62 games represent the kind of production he’ll see in the NHL as he is deployed in more defensive situations. Though he make look at first glance like Chris Pronger physically on the ice, it’s clear that he’ll never have the first pass ability or offensive instincts to be that type of defender.
What he can do though, is dominate in his own end with a long reach and immeasurable strength. His body position and footwork has all improved over the past few years, to the point where he should rarely be taken advantage of by quicker players. Instead, he’ll be the one using his size advantage to remove attackers from the front of the net and win the puck back in the corner. In Philadelphia, where Shayne Gostisbehere is the polar opposite of Morin, they’ve been waiting for a big shutdown defender to come in and provide lock down minutes against top competition.