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Samuel Morin has really come into his own this season, playing with the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL. As a 17 year old, he has taken over a role as arguably the most important defenceman on the team, playing top minutes and against the best players on opposing squads. The Oceanic had a very solid season, finishing 2nd in their division and 4th overall in the QMJHL. However, they were upset by the 13th place Gatineau Olympiques in the first round. Morin though has nothing to be ashamed of as with 7 points in 6 playoff games, he showed an offensive dimension to his game that we hadn’t really seen much of before.
The early exit from the playoffs did have its silver lining (or perhaps in this case a golden one) as Morin was able to join Team Canada at the 2013 IIHF Under 18 Championships in Sochi Russia. He played a major shutdown role for the Canadian squad and drew great reviews in the tournament, helping Canada win a Gold Medal.
Born Jul 12 1995 — St.Henri, PQ
Height 6.07 — Weight 203 — Shoots Left
Already listed at 6’7″, Morin is an imposing physical specimen at the back end. He plays a strong defensive game, using his size and physicality in his own zone. Morin throws big hits and battles hard in front of the net and along the boards. He plays a strong positional game and uses his size and his long stick to cut down passing and shooting lanes. Morin has even got a bit of a mean streak, he plays very physical, and is often right on the border (and sometimes even over it) on what is legal. His high penalty minute totals can attest that he does have a tendency to sometimes cross that line. Morin is not afraid to drop the gloves either and with his size, its no surprise that he has been very successful when doing so. Morin’s size literally makes him a man amongst boys in the junior ranks, however he will need to spend the next couple years adding strength and muscle mass to his huge frame before being ready to play this style in the pros. This is not that unusual though as it is often the case for many 18 year olds, especially someone blessed with great height like Morin.
Morin skates pretty well for a big man, but he does have some areas he needs to work on. His straight line speed is good for his size, and his acceleration is decent enough. His agility is also at a very good level, and this gives him some decent mobility. However he does need work on his edgework and pivots. Morin has trouble dealing with speedy forwards at this point especially when they make quick cuts around him. He will need to work on this aspect of his game, and improve his ability to change directions quickly before he is ready for the speed of the pro game.
As alluded too, there is some untapped offensive potential that hasn’t shown up in Morin’s stats yet. He has a hard slapshot. If he can keep it low and on net, it can become an effective weapon for him from the point. Morin is also very poised with the puck on his stick. He keeps his head up and makes good crisp passes out of his own zone, allowing his team to start the rush. If he can take this first pass ability and translate it to handling the puck in the offensive zone, he could be a real offensive weapon.
Morin’s style, and his size, has drawn the obvious comparisons to Zdeno Chara. While I feel that this is a good stylistic comparison, I don’t think Morin has the potential to be as good as the Bruins Captain and 2 time Norris Trophy winner. Still if Morin develops properly he can be a valuable top 4 defenceman who other players will absolutely hate to play against.
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