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Philadelphia Flyers 25 Under 25: Samuel Morin hoping to grab a spot on the NHL team

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After having a cup of coffee with the Flyers in April, Morin looks to stick in NHL this fall.

Kate Frese / SB Nation

Philadelphia fans have been setting sky-high expectations for Sam Morin from the moment they pieced together the young defenseman’s connection to former Flyers great Chris Pronger. But really, other than the fact he’s very big, has a bit of a mean streak, and that every young defenseman is the next Chris Pronger, what connection does Morin share with Pronger?

When the aforementioned Pronger went down in 2011, the Flyers were desperate for a number-one defenseman. After some trades and big efforts in free agency didn’t work out, the team (finally) shifted its strategy on defense towards trying to build a defense through the draft. In some ways, Morin — the team’s first-round pick in 2013 — was the O.G. of the prospect pool’s group of defensemen, as his selection was the one that really got that effort going.

No. 9: Samuel Morin

Position: D
Age: 22 (7/12/1995)
Acquired Via: 2013 NHL Draft -- Round 1, Pick 11
2016-17 League/Team/Statistics: Lehigh Valley (AHL) - 3 G, 13 A in 74 GP
Nationality: Canadian
Ranking in BSH Winter 2017 25 Under 25: 9

With training camp getting underway in about a month, Morin will look to snag one of the two open NHL positions on the Flyers’ blue line. He’ll be competing for a spot there with Robert Hagg, who (like Morin) made his NHL debut last April, and Travis Sanheim, who just completed his first full season in the AHL.

With the Phantoms last season, Morin’s most frequent on-ice partner was Sanheim, with whom he spent around 44 percent of his ice time (via prospect-stats.com), followed by Hagg, who he was with on-ice around 25 percent of the time. Morin and Sanheim’s play styles mesh well, because Morin — more of a stay-at-home defenseman — can sit back while Sanheim, a-puck mover, can take charge of the play.

At 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, Morin is a physical gift. He might as well be a tower compared to the average male height of 5-foot-6. If he was to make the NHL next season he would tied for the third-tallest defenseman in the NHL with Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak. Only Tyler Myers (6’8”) and Zdeno Chára (6’9”) are taller.

Also, he can hit. His physical style can lead to a fair number of penalties, and he has indeed compiled a lot of those — 118 and 129 minutes’ worth over his first two AHL seasons. But yes, he can hit.

Morin looks poised to grab one of the open blue line positions on the Flyers this upcoming season. Come October, expect Morin to be on the Flyers opening night roster — if he succeeds in training camp. While he may not be the “next Chris Pronger,” Morin’s ceiling looks to be that of a top-4 defenseman in the NHL. And for a team with defensive depth like the Flyers, that should be good enough.

How We Voted For Samuel Morin

Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
12 8 9 10 14 11 12 10 10 10 10 9

How We Voted At No. 9

Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
German Rubtsov Philippe Myers Samuel Morin Anthony Stolarz German Rubtsov German Rubtsov Robert Hagg Felix Sandstrom German Rubtsov Anthony Stolarz Scott Laughton Samuel Morin

How The Community Voted For Samuel Morin

Ranking # of Votes
Ranking # of Votes
1 12
2 1
3 5
4 3
5 25
6 66
7 84
8 138
9 208
10 141
11 120
12 83
13 61
14 23
15 13
16 14
17 7
18 7
19 4
20 4
21 2
22 1
23 0
24 0
25 1
NR 11

***

Previously on Philadelphia Flyers Summer 2017 25 Under 25: