Back in 2013 when Paul Holmgren made Samuel Morin the Flyers first round pick, many had their doubts and knew this would be a project type of player. Well, that has proven to be the case and then some. It feels like Morin has been on this team forever and yet not at all at the exact same time, and that’s because of his injury issues. The defenseman has only played in eight career NHL games, with five of them coming last season.
Morin spent most of last season recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. His 2017-18 season had already been one in which he missed most of due to injury, just playing in 15 games that regular season. So over the past two seasons, he’s played a grand total of 17 AHL games, and seven NHL games. That begs the question, why does he still make our list?
No. 20: Samuel Morin
Age: 24 (7/12/1995)
Size: 6’6”, 202
Acquired Via: 2013 NHL Draft -- Round 1, Pick 11
2018-19 League/Team/Statistics: Philadelphia (NHL) - 0 P, 12:22 ATOI in 5 GP
Ranking in BSH Winter 2019 25 Under 25: 19
At the end of the day, none of us really know what kind of player Morin can be at the NHL level. We simply haven’t seen enough of him to get a good idea of it, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get that chance this season barring injury. With the additions of Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun, and Philippe Myers appearing to be a lock for the opening night roster, Morin at best would appear to be the seventh defenseman on this roster.
The problem with that of course is, Robert Hagg is still here. Hagg, the last player on our countdown, has... well he hasn’t had the best of times in the NHL. After a rough rookie season he objectively looked even worse last year which ties into part of why Morin is seen ahead of Hagg in our rankings. We don’t know what Morin is despite our best guesses, but we do have enough data and film on Hagg to make a justified decision on him as a NHL player.
In Morin’s five games, and it’s very important to take these statistics with a grain of salt due to small sample sizes, he posted a 47.17 Corsi (CF) while averaging just over 12 minutes of ice time. Outside of a horrendous game vs. Carolina in which he posted a 25 CF percentage and was on the ice for 12 scoring chances against, he actually put together some decent performances based on the metrics.
Of course, this is a five game sample size and by no means should be taken to read “hey Samuel Morin is going to be a good play-driving defenseman at the NHL level.” There really just isn’t enough data on Morin with how injured he’s been to tell what kind of player he could be, but with the 24 year old blueliner entering the second year of his three year extension, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to give Morin a shot over Hagg to see what he has in the NHL.
Data courtesy of Natural Stat Trick and hockey-reference
Previously in Philadelphia Flyers Summer 2018 Top 25 Under 25: