D / Boston Bruins
Born: December 9, 1992
2012-2013 Numbers: Texas Stars 1-3-4, 9GP; playoffs 2-1-3, 8GP; W-B Penguins 4-11-15, 57GP
A former #23 overall draft pick in 2011, Joe Morrow was one piece of the multiplayer Seguin trade this past July. A highly touted prospect in the years since he was drafted, Morrow has the potential to be a mobile, puck-moving defenseman (and we do love those around these parts). He put up 64 points in 62 games in his final year in the WHL, and 17 points in 22 playoff games. While he was obviously not going to replicate those numbers at the AHL level, he still only had 19 points in a total 66 AHL games played, which is less than one would hope from an offense-oriented defenseman. Will Morrow fulfill his potential, or does the fact that he's been traded twice in six months say something about his NHL ceiling?
Going into last year, Morrow was part of a deep defense prospect pool in the Penguins organization. In fact, prior to the trade deadline, Pittsburgh reporter Rob Rossi tweeted that
finally, #pens unwilling to move Joe Morrow. View him as top overall prospect.
Obviously things change (and the Penguins do have a surfeit of high end D coming up through the pipeline), so Morrow did end up being dealt at the deadline to Dallas for another Morrow -- Brenden.
Our friends at Defending Big D did an excellent writeup of Morrow's abiltiy in the wake of the Morrow for Morrow trade, pointing out his offensive potential along with his defensive question marks:
His best skills come in his skating ability with good passing and a heck of a shot from the point -- he's touted as having one of the harder shots among the top defensive prospects in hockey. He possesses decent size for his age but has struggled with the defensive side of the game at the pro level, getting some healthy scratches earlier this season to figure things out.
They also had this to say after Morrow's brief stint with the Dallas organization, ranking him at 13 in a list of Dallas prospects:
Joe Morrow has had a mixed year and doesn't appear to have transitioned into the AHL well. He has the time to develop though and refine his game. His potential is pretty good and if he had had a better season in the AHL I imagine he would be higher up this list. For now time will do Joe Morrow a lot of good.
On the other hand, in July Kirk Luedeke ranked Morrow #4 on his list of Bruins prospects:
Morrow is probably at least a full year away from making the case for a roster spot inside Boston's defensive rotation. Unless something gives in the form of a trade on the back end, watch for the 23rd overall pick in 2011 to assume Torey Krug's role as power play ace and top scoring ‘D' in Providence.
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It's safe to say that we at Chowdah are excited to see what Morrow might be able to bring to the back end in Providence, including quarterbacking a potentially Krug-less powerplay. The consesus across the board seems to be that Morrow has the potential to be a useful, point-producing NHL defenseman -- but that he's still a ways away from that. With a bunch of Providence's big defensive guns looking to secure a roster spot with the big club, Morrow has an opportunity with the baby Bs this year to show what he's got -- and to see if his game can successfully transition to the pro level.