Almost nine years after he was selected 11th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers, Samuel Morin’s playing career has come to an end. General manager Chuck Fletcher confirmed today that Morin will not be able to return from his latest injury, the end of a long string of unfortunate issues that have kept him off the ice.
Morin, 26, ended up playing in just 29 NHL games, recording a single goal. The 6’6″ defenseman (who tried his hand at forward late in his career) suffered multiple major knee injuries that required surgery, including a procedure to remove loose bodies in September. He did not play a single game at any level this season and will be forced to retire as a true “what if” story.
While he never possessed elite offensive upside, the mean, physical nature of Morin’s game had a place in the NHL. He was a strong contributor for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in his first two seasons of professional hockey, earning a single game with the Flyers in 2016-17. Things went steadily downhill from there, however, as his knees were ravaged and his skating severely impacted. He tried to reinvent himself as a Matt Martin-like forward, essentially an enforcer who can add some defensive presence to a line, but was limited to 20 games in 2020-21, his last season.
He was set to become a Group VI unrestricted free agent this summer, and will now have to look for another avenue of employment. Fletcher did suggest that they could find a place for him somewhere in the organization, though it is unclear where exactly that would be.