With the 23rd Pick, the Penguins Select...

Saturday, June 25, 2011
Picture courtesy of the Penguins Twitter account.
The Penguins surprised some and drafted another defenseman.

Joe Morrow, 18, plays in the Western Hockey League (WHL) for the Portland Winterhawks. He registered 49 points (9G, 40A) in 60 games this past season and ranked second among defensemen in playoff scoring, registering 20 points (6G, 14 A) in 21 games.

The 6-0, 197 pound defenseman has the offensive ability to make it in the NHL and he also adds a physical edge to his game. Watch him drop Jacob Doty in this fight back in 2009.

Thoughts and insights after the jump.

Here's what Hooks Orpik over at Pensburgh has to say about Morrow:
Morrow, from the Western Hockey League, has good size, is an excellent skater and could develop into a puck moving NHL defenseman. Morrow will need a few years of development, but his addition to the Pens offers one more blue chip prospect to the team’s portfolio. As we’ve seen with Ryan Whitney and Alex Goligoski, the Pens aren’t afraid to trade a good defenseman for forwards, so the idea to draft the best player available always works out at the NHL. Now it’s just a matter of time to see how Morrow develops.
 Jesse from Faceoff Factor had to many nice things to say about Morrow:
Morrow battled injuries all year long, but when the going got tough in the playoffs, he had one of the better performances in North America and was the 2nd leading scorer among defensemen in the WHL playoffs. Morrow is a mobile defenseman with good size and speed. He’s not hesitant to start the rush himself and skate the puck out of danger. He’s got excellent vision and a great heads-up style of skating. He surveys the ice as he carries the puck and makes crisp passes to his forwards.high-caliber, but he hits the net with regularity and is a threat on the power-play.
WBS Penguins fans won't see Morrow anytime soon. I'd say he's at least two years away from playing in the AHL. At 18 years old, he's still got a few years of eligibility left with the Winterhawks in the WHL. The Penguins might seem loaded at the defense position now but a lot can change in 2-3 years.

I mean, look at how much the Philadelphia Flyers have changed in just the past few days. All in all, it's a good thing to have Morrow waiting in the wings in the pipeline. Check back for a look at the rest of the Penguins draft picks tomorrow.


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