|Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey|
Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook
With some injuries to the Philadelphia Flyers defense over the past few games - including physical defender Radko Gudas - second year defenseman Sam Morin earned his first career NHL call up Tuesday and is set to make his NHL debut with the Flyers tonight against the New Jersey Devils.
The story with Morin is rather straightforward when you ask anyone on the Phantoms or Flyers development staff. He needs to play a simple game, make good first passes out of the zone and be a stalwart, physical defender - winning 1-on-1 battles in the 'hard areas' of the ice down low, in the corners and around the net in the defensive zone.
He knows he won't make it to the NHL because of anything he does offensively. Chipping in offensively, as he often refers to it, is strictly an added bonus or reward for his hard work at the other end of the ice.
With the Lehigh Valley Phantoms again this season, the 21-year old and 2013-1st round selection of the Flyers has had ample time to focus and hone his craft.
As a rookie in 2015-16, Morin appeared in all 76 of the team's games, gaining loads of experience along the way. This season, his second full year of hockey at the professional level, Morin again had appeared in all of the Phantoms' games before a two-game suspension back in late February caused him to miss his first-ever professional games.
Here's a 1-on-1 interview I had with Morin right before he returned from his suspension back in late February talking about his need to perhaps play a little smarter physically to avoid more supplemental discipline down the road. Also discussed was his progress and comfort level now in his 2nd pro year, as well as where he is in his development - things he's working on etc.
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