Philly signs ’13 first-rounder Morin to entry-level deal


The Flyers have reached terms with Samuel Morin on a three-year entry-level deal, the club announced on Tuesday.

Morin, 18, was the club’s first-round pick (11th overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

At 6-foot-6, 211 pounds, Morin was one of the biggest physical specimens available at the draft and the fourth defenseman off the board, behind Nashville’s Seth Jones, Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse and Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen.

CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio reports Morin’s deal is for $4.275 million over three years.

Panaccio also reports Morin is making it tough for the Flyers to dispatch him back to junior. The QMJHL Rimouski standout had a very solid pro debut on Monday’s 4-3 shootout loss to Washington, setting up Vincent Lecavalier for a power-play marker.

“He was really composed out there with the puck,” Flyers coach Craig Berube said. “Playing in his first exhibition in the NHL, I thought he was tremendous.

“He did some really good things with the puck.”

The Flyers might keep Morin around for a regular-season audition before sending him back, much like they did with Scott Laughton last year.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.