The Flyers have struggled to assemble a Stanley Cup-caliber defense since losing Chris Pronger, but they have some promising defensive prospects that they hope will someday play key roles in a lengthy playoff run.
Among them is Samuel Morin, who is easy to identify given that, like Pronger before him, he towers over his competitors. Morin stands at 6-foot-7 and has gotten up to 224 pounds. In the QMJHL, the 19-year-old had 34 points and 121 penalty minutes in 54 games last season. He also served a two-game suspension for throwing his stick into the stands.
There’s no question that the Flyers want Morin to be a physical player, but he’s got to be smart about it.
“Controlled emotion from our players,” Flyers coach Craig Berube told CSN Philly. “You have to play with emotion, but it has to be controlled. The dumb stuff? No room for it. He has to make the commitment do it that and it’s us teaching and showing him how to do it.”
That’s something that Pronger has discussed with Morin too. Pronger wants to see him use his intensity and anger in a positive way and “to be unpredictable on the ice.”
Morin and fellow top-tier defensive prospect Shayne Gostisbehere have been skating alongside each other in rookie camp. That’s a pairing that Philadelphia would love to see shine at the NHL level someday. There’s a fair chance that neither of them will make the team’s opening game roster though as the Flyers try to resist the temptation to rush their young prospects.