Samuel Morin 'a stretch' to make Flyers this season

Bruce Bennett

Despite signing his entry-level deal on Tuesday, Paul Holmgren says it's a stretch that Samuel Morin will make the team this season.

PHILADELPHIA -- All the logic points to Samuel Morin starting and ending the 2013-14 hockey season with his junior club, Rimouski of the QMJHL. It makes sense for his development and it makes sense in terms of the Flyers current roster.

But do the Flyers, who signed Morin to his entry-level contract earlier on Tuesday, think he has a chance to defy both the logic and make the team this season?

"That's a stretch, just because of the numbers we have here," Paul Holmgren said. "We're just going to take it a day at a time and see how it goes. He's obviously playing again [Tuesday night], and we'll see how that goes. We were obviously pretty happy with how he played [Monday] night. He's an intriguing young man."

Since draft day, Morin's been compared to Chris Pronger in just about every possible way. His size, his vision on the ice, his mobility for a big man, the way his face looks. Holmgren was quick to deny those clearly comparisons, saying that while Morin's a big, strong defender for an 18 year old, that sort of talk is unfair at this stage.

"I'd hate to put labels on him like either one of those labels, but he's an intriguing young man. For a guy that size, I think he gets around the ice really good. His hands are good; his sense is really good.

...

"He's obviously a very confident kid. He's pretty sure of himself. Not in a bad way, but in a good way. And he's a hard working kid. He's put the time in to train properly. He eats properly already. He weighs 211 pounds. I remember Chris Pronger, when I had him in Hartford as an 18 year old, I think he weighed 180 or 185. Sam's already 211 pounds. He's going to continue to get bigger and stronger. Who knows what he's going to be when he's done growing."

It's good to hear this type of thing from Holmgren, especially since he's in charge of an organization that's never been too great at developing young defenseman, nor have they been shy about rushing promising prospects to the pros. Especially at a position of need.

The Flyers will make cuts on Wednesday before heading to Lake Placid for the weekend. Morin might make that cut line, but that won't necessarily be an indication of his chances to make the roster. Holmgren said the team will only take "26 or 28" of the 44 players currently in camp, but that Morin can get good experience by remaining with the team for a bit.

"We'll just take it a day at a time," he said. "Any time he can spend here is a bonus, to learn from guys, learn what it takes to be a pro. When the time comes to make our decision, we'll make it."

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