Sam Morin Hopes to Stick with Flyers This Year
The Flyers’ 2013 first-round pick was one of the last cuts in 2014’s training camp and there’s little evidence of the undisciplined hothead he was then.
A more mature defenseman, still intimidating in his frame, Morin may finally make the NHL as a regular this time around. There are two openings available and he’s a top candidate for one of them.
He got his first taste last year, making his debut in a game against the New Jersey Devils when both they and the Flyers were eliminated from playoff contention. Now he wants to stay.
“I’m going to do my best. It’s going to be Ron (Hextall)’s decision,” Morin said. “I think anyone in this camp can make the team. It’s not up to just four guys. You need to deserve it and you need to work hard. The guys that are gonna deserve it are going to win a spot. It’s just the way it goes. If you play good, you’re going to win it. If you don’t work hard, don’t have a good attitude, that’s when you’re going to lose your spot.”
He’s a far cry from the teenager who was suspended and fined in his junior hockey days for throwing a stick into the crowd. Now 22, he still makes punishing hits, but the issues with the puck on his stick are a lot more infrequent and he spent the summer trying to be a better skater, which is no easy feat for a 6-foot-7, 225 pounder.
To start training camp, Morin has been paired with veteran Andrew MacDonald. Back-to-back days that way insinuates they may get a look together in a preseason game also.
“He’s been great, moving well,” MacDonald said. “Obviously he’s a big strong kid with a big reach. Defensively down low, it’s pretty tough to get around him. The footwork’s great and just getting the puck, making quick plays. The last couple days have been about battling. I think that’s a big part of his game and he’s showed that out there.”
Morin had to turn it up a notch from earlier in the week when he took part in rookie camp.