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Flyers Select Defenseman Sam Morin 11th Overall

Jun 30, 2013, 5:13 PM EDT

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There was a lot of talk that the Flyers could be among the movers and shakers at the NHL Draft on Sunday. Instead they wound up staying put at number 11, selecting 17-year-old defenseman Samuel Morin.

Paul Holmgren admitted the Flyers would lean toward defense, but the specific choice came as something of a surprise. The embattled general manager wound up passing on the higher-rated Ryan Pulock and Nikita Zadorov to grab Morin, the fourth blueliner taken.

Apparently Morin was something of a late-riser on draft boards. At one point viewed as a mid-round pick, he began creeping higher and higher in the prospect rankings over the past year. NHL.com lists him 23rd among North American skaters, up from 76th.

Morin is 6-6, 203 lbs., and turns 18 in July. Early reports are the Quebec native is a pure defensive defenseman, although the hope is he can develop more of an offensive presence. He’s probably a couple years away from joining the Flyers.

Morin posted four goals and 12 assists in 46 games in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, missing time due to an upper-body injury. He added a score and six helpers over six playoff games.

He’s no stranger to the penalty box either, nor is he afraid to drop the gloves, racking up 133 total penalty minutes in regular season and playoffs combined.

There is a feeling the Flyers could have used somebody who would make an immediate contribution. With the addition of Mark Streit to the back end, the healthy returns of Nicklas Grossmann, Braydon Coburn, and Andrej Meszaros (assuming none of them are traded), and the impressive play of youngsters Erik Gustafsson and Oliver Lauridsen down the stretch last season, the club probably has time to allow Morin to progress.

There will possibly be some outcry over the front office operating outside the consensus rankings as well. Again, Morin’s stock was on the rise, so obviously the organization is projecting he will be better than what was left. Whether the gamble pays off or not remains to be seen.

The Flyers undoubtedly would have liked to move up and nab Seth Jones, who slipped to fourth overall, or even Darnell Nurse or Rasmus Ristolainen at seven and eight respectively. They may not have had the firepower to do so, at least not that they were willing to part with anyway.

So it’s Morin, over Pulock, over Zadorov – two players he will forever be compared to during his time in Philadelphia. Without an NHL-ready first-round pick, and no wheeling and dealing to speak of thus far, the Flyers are increasingly likely to be active as free agency approaches.

Vancouver Trades Schneider to New Jersey

Another development that could concern the Flyers was the blockbuster deal between Vancouver and New Jersey. The Canucks sent 27-year-old Cory Schneider to the Devils for the ninth overall pick, which was used on center Bo Horvat.

Not only did a division rival manage to land their goaltender of the future, but that should effectively put an end to any Roberto Luongo to Philly rumors. Luongo is expected to remain in Vancouver for now rather than receive a compliance buyout.

Luongo was always a longshot to wind up in Orange & Black anyway, but without the buyout that once seem imminent, it’s one less option on the table for the Flyers.

  1. Mostel - Jun 30, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    The TV guys didn’t kill the Flyers over this, so I’m not inclined to do so either. Granted I was f-bombing up a storm when Buffalo took RR @ 8, but oh well.

    The Flyers still need to get some work done:

    - get Mez traded for whatever they can get back to fee up cap space
    - get Lecalvier signed

    and they need to NOT:

    - trade Coburn
    - trade for Byfuglien
    - sign Emery

    Reply
    • Lol - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:11 PM

      Can’t they trade Coburn and use Lauridsen as his cheaper, younger and more competent replacement?

      Reply
    • laxman1944 - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      Staying the course can be boring.

      Reply
    • 33 - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:05 PM

      The Lecavalier discussions are interesting from the current personnel standpoint. He’s a center, no lower than second line, and the Flyers already have G, Schenn, and Coots even after losing Briere. It’s really not a need of theirs as usual. So what would it mean if they’re really trying to land him?

      Reply
  2. nyphilsphan - Jun 30, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Kid’s 6’6”-6’7” and 200 lbs at 17? He’s got all the time in the world to bulk up, become a better offensive player, and become a force to be reckoned with in his own end.

    This may not be what we NEEDED, but it could pay off greater dividends down the road.

    Reply
  3. FlyFlyersFly - Jun 30, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Breaking: Flyers and Oilers talking. McNabb’s nephew coming to Philly?

    Reply
    • Mostel - Jun 30, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      To be honest, I don’t know what that does for us at this point. I’m ok with the pics they made and we really need to unload Mez (and Hartnell if anybody is that dumb) for whatever level of compensation can clear $ off of our cap.

      Reply
  4. BenE. - Jun 30, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Great pick with Morin!! Really excited to see this dude cut a path of destruction up to the big club over the next few years.

    Reply
  5. mykhuis - Jun 30, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    I’m curious to see why Zadorov dropped but Pulock honestly has less upside than this kid. My understanding of Pulock is that he’s another Andrej Meszaros at best (overpaid 3rd-pair guy who can fill in on the 2nd pair). But this seems like it was a pretty good pick for the Flyers to get. Obviously Nurse or Risto would have been better but considering what was left I’ll take it.

    Reply
  6. BenE. - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Damn, I’ve been doing some research on Tyrell Goulbourne, the Flyers 3rd round pick. This dude looks like a Flyer through and through! A left winger from the WHL, which is known for producing some tough mother effers and good power forwards. Hopefully the Flyers hang on to this guy and develop him right, because a lineup with him, McGinn, Simmonds, Rinaldo, the Schenn brothers, Morin, and Rosehill if he is still around would be an incredible mix of skill and toughness.

    Reply
  7. BenE. - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Anyway, I like that the Flyers are bulking up, because they need toughness for Lavi’s system to work properly. These guys are going to be a burden to knock off the puck, which is exactly what we need.

    Reply
    • laxman1944 - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:37 PM

      EXACTLY……..The Flyer needs to get bigger and stronger.

      It’s all about building a team that will survive the battle of attrition that is The NHL Playoffs.

      It’s a step in the right direction.

      Not bad Paul

      Reply
      • BenE. - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        It’s amazing how many Flyers fans on other sites cry whenever a shred of toughness cracks the lineup, and they use words like “goon” and say the Flyers are stuck in the 70s. First off, the “goons” in the 70s were still able to put up 20-30 points, so I’d take that any day. Moreover, it was painfully obvious the Flyers were lacking in the toughness department last year. It’s why they lost so many battles in the offensive and defensive zones; it’s why they couldn’t sustain a forecheck and had terrible puck possession (bottom third in the NHL); it’s why those offensive collapses lead to so many odd man rushes the other way.

      • nyphilsphan - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:40 AM

        This teem has been in desperate need of “Goons” for years. When we lost Pronger, this team lost what little edge it still possessed and spent the second half of seasons getting shoved around a checked out of the rink in the playoffs.

        The same people who hate this trade and call it a “typical Flyers move” are the same people who went ape-shit over the Jrue Holiday trade. 2 lottery picks, 1 already on the team with the potential to be a dominant defensive force, but needs to develop an offense game and probably won’t pay off for a few seasons….sounds familiar to the move the Flyers made here….how can you, as a sports fan, not see that a PG who was picked 17th overall being traded for 2 (probably high) lottery picks is a good thing for a team that was going nowhere? Same thing here. How could you have watched the Flyers get crushed by the Devils in 2012 or all of last season and not be leaping for joy over this pick?

        Because he won’t score 15 with 65 helpers in the next few years? Do you actually WATCH hockey? Or basketball? I swear most people simply stopped watching the past few years and have made a sport out of being negative about EVERY move that gets made instead.


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