Travis Morin will be staying in Texas next season, after the Texas Stars captain signed a one-year AHL deal today. The 33-year old forward has been one of the more impressive scoring threats in the AHL for years, and recorded another 55 points this past season. With 468 points in 548 games, you’d think Morin would have gotten more of a look at the NHL, but he’s only spent 13 games there over his career.
Texas finished out of the playoffs this season, but will hope Morin will bring back his offensive touch to a group that should be improved in 2017-18. Mark McNeill, acquired at the deadline from the Chicago Blackhawks, will be an especially important addition should he not be able to crack the Dallas lineup next year.
- The New Jersey Devils scouting staff is preparing “like we’re making the No. 1 pick” according to Mike Morreale of NHL.com, though there still does exist the possibility that the team would trade down. The team won’t make that final decision until much closer to the draft, but it’s clear that they have interest in both projected top picks. Paul Castron, the team’s director of amateur scouting, talks about how Nolan Patrick’s injury shouldn’t be held against him, and that Nico Hischier has made a meteoric rise up everyone’s draft boards this season. For a team looking to turn their franchise around quickly, they’ll have to decide whether one of the top two names can help them in the short-term, or if moving down a few spots in exchange for an NHL-ready player makes more sense.
- Keep an eye on Uvis Balinskis from Dinamo Riga of the KHL and most recently the Latvian team at the World Championships. He’s now represented by Dan Milstein of Gold Star Hockey, who claims that the “NHL is next” for his client. Balinskis is “open for business” according to Milstein, and was impressive at the tournament. Balinskis played half the season for Riga after moving up from the MHL, and recorded 5 points in 21 games. The left-handed defenseman is just 20-years old and could have a professional future in North America should he continue to develop his two-way style.