The Philadelphia Flyers are finally getting a top young defenseman back on the ice. After a hiatus that dates back to November 2017, Samuel Morin is finally getting healthy. The Flyers have announced that Morin has been assigned to the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms on a conditioning loan.
Morin, 23, suffered his initial groin injury early in the 2017-18 season and missed most of the year, skating in just two games for the Flyers in a season where he was expected to push for a starting job as a a rookie. However, Morin was able to come back later in the spring and returned to action with the Phantoms. In the postseason though, Morin suffered a far more serious knee injury that required major surgery. Morin went under the knife in May and was not even able to skate until late December. However, nine months after the knee injury and 15 months since his last game with Philadelphia, Morin is finally ready for game action.
Morin was selected by the Flyers with the 11th overall pick in 2013 and was considered to have the size and skill to be a core defenseman. Morin joined Ivan Provorov, Robert Hagg, Travis Sanheim, and Phil Myers as Philly’s next wave on defense that was expected to rival all blue lines across the league. However, it has not worked out that way. Provorov has developed into an elite defender, albeit in a down year, and Hagg has settled into a dependable stay-at-home role, but the Flyers are still waiting on the promise of the rest of the group, with Sanheim being the focus this season. Morin sticks out as the biggest disappointment, though. TSN’s Frank Seravalli notes that Morin has played fewer NHL games than all but one of his fellow 2013 first-rounders, due to injuries of course but also underwhelming performance. The Flyers hope that Morin’s injury history is just that and the young defenseman can move forward and take steps towards reaching his potential.