It’s not very often that you see players change position after they’ve made it to the NHL, though there have been some notable exceptions in recent years. Dustin Byfuglien and Brent Burns are two shining examples, lining up at forward and defense depending on the year, following in the footsteps of Red Kelly who famously came out of a semi-retirement to play center for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now you can hopefully add another name to that list, as Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher announced that Samuel Morin will play left wing for the team this season.
If you’re thinking, “but Morin wasn’t a very offensive defenseman” you’re not wrong. The 25-year-old forward won’t be trying to lead the team in scoring anytime soon, telling reporters including Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic that the player he’s watching and trying to emulate is Matt Martin. The 6’6″ Morin certainly has the frame to play that bang-and-crash style and he has no pretense of entitlement; the 2013 first-round pick readily admits that he’s fighting for his career after several major surgeries.
- Speaking of surgeries to Flyers prospects, the team also announced that Kirill Ustimenko has undergone a procedure to repair a torn hip labrum. He will be out for four to five months, effectively ending his season. The 21-year-old goaltender was the 80th overall pick in 2017 and made his North American debut last year, playing most of the season with the Reading Royals of the ECHL. He actually played two games back in Belarus this season before going down to injury, the only two he is expected to play given the long rehab.
- If you want some good news, look no further than Cam York, the Flyers prospect who is dominating at the World Juniors as captain of Team USA. York is tied with Topi Niemela of Finland for the scoring lead among tournament defenders and trails only Trevor Zegras on the entire U.S. roster. A poised, two-way player, York has appeared to reach a different level in his development this season, excelling not only at the junior event but also for the University of Michigan. He and the rest of the U.S. squad will be back in action this evening taking on Sweden in an extremely important Group B matchup.