With Shayne Gostisbehere on the mend, the Philadelphia Flyers have called up Samuel Morin to replace him. Can the young defenseman make a strong enough impression to stay in the NHL?
After somewhat surprisingly missing the opening night roster, Samuel Morin has received another opportunity to establish himself as an NHL player. The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they would be recalling Morin from the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, to take the place of the injured Shayne Gostisbehere.
Morin will not likely replace Gostisbehere directly, given that Ghost received the second-most ice time out of all the Flyers’ defensemen (behind only Ivan Provorov). Instead, look for the Flyers to ease him into action at first with third-paring minutes.
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That being said, it’s easy to envision a talented prospect like Morin pushing for a bigger role in short order. As we all saw in the preseason, Morin’s physical style of play, reliability in the defensive end of the rink, and big slap shot make for a nice set of skills that should allow him to succeed at the NHL level. Even though Robert Hagg and Travis Sanheim impressed the Flyers more, Morin showed more than enough to suggest a long, fruitful pro career.
The big question now is how the Flyers will divide their group of d-men into pairings. Defensive zone exits have been somewhat of an issue in the past few games, and losing a shifty, mobile skater like Ghost and replacing him with Morin likely won’t help there. The challenge for Hakstol and company is to find pairings of players whose skills mesh well with each other.
If I had to guess, I’d expect Morin to be paired with Brandon Manning to start. The Flyers would probably prefer to pair each of their three rookie defenseman with a veteran, and if they want to shelter Morin, sticking him with the less-talented Manning would give the Flyers a clear third pairing that they can protect from tough matchups.
Morin will in all likelihood make his debut on Monday against the Coyotes. Time to see what the kid’s got.