|Change from 2013
- Acquired: Trade with Dallas (you know the one)
- Position: Defense
- Hometown: Sherwood Park, Alberta
- Vitals: 6'1"/198lbs
- Curent Team: Providence Bruins (AHL)
You guys totally forgot about Joe Morrow right? Don’t lie, you totally did. Here’s the thing, the “other” part of the Tyler Seguin deal isn’t just a throw in. Though it’s still a little unclear just how well he projects, what he’s shown so far the former first round draft pick is at the very least promising.
In his first full year in Providence, Morrow clocked in with six goals and 23 assists in 56 games. Despite being traded twice before his first NHL game Morrow has put up some impressive numbers with the P-Bruins.
He was the second highest scoring defenseman on the roster behind only David Warsofsky and clocked in at .52 pt/g. In ten playoff games he scored seven points (two goals, five assists) before Providence was eliminated.
What They're Saying (Quotes Courtesy of Mark Divver):
Assistant GM Don Sweeney: “Where he finished up [training] camp and where he is now is a real good progression. He’s got a much better understanding of how we play, what the systems are, what the responsibilities of D-men are, where his strengths are going to apply — using his skating ability, getting up ice but defending,”
“Joe’s shown that he’s able to get through the neutral zone, making real good plays as he’s approaching the offensive blue line. On the power play, his shot is very good. There’s a good two-way component there.”
P-Bruins Head Coach Butch Cassidy: “We’ve given him some freedom to make his plays. At the start of the year, it was more risk than reward. Now it’s gone the other way. He’s picking his spots better. There’s more reward and less risk. There are always going to be some [risks] with those skill guys on defense, but I think he’s finding that balance. Defending better in front of his net, better decisions down low — all those things are coming,”
Morrow is still just 21 and is coming into a big year for his development. Morrow’s ability to score without the favorable zone starts Warsofsky gets bodes well for his ability to do the same in the NHL.
Both Cassidy and Sweeney have mentioned that they see Morrow playing against top competition in the AHL and his superb skating and good shot make him a venerable two-way threat. Whether the scoring translates to the NHL level is yet to be seen but his possession minded play style will at the very least lend itself to a good shot suppression defenseman.
In a perfect world Morrow will turn into a reliable top-4 d-man like a Johnny Boychuk, which may come in handy if #Dadchuk is sent packing during the season.
All that being said, there’s still some value in the skillset that Morrow brings. If he can continue to score with that monster of a shot of his and play well against top competition we could have a Reilly Smith like revelation on the blueline. Don’t sleep on this kid just yet.