Cam Morrison Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #53

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TopShelfProspectsAfter leading his team to the 2014 OHL Gold Cup (a midget tournament), Cam Morrison was a sought after young prospect. Even after he made it clear that he was planning to skip the OHL and playing NCAA hockey, he was drafted in the third round by the North Bay Battalion. Morrison stuck with the plan though, and eventually the USHL offered an alternative, where he could maintain his college eligibility while playing high level junior hockey. Morrison joined the Youngstown Phantoms this season and put up 34 goals and 32 assists for 66 points in 60 games. He also appeared in the USHL Top Prospects Game. Once his USHL season was done, Morrison joined Team Canada at the IIHF Under 18 World Championships where he picked up a goal and three assists in the seven game tournament. Morrison is committed to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish next season.

Cam Morrison Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #53

Centre/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born Aug 27 1998 — Aurora, ONT
Height 6’02” — Weight 203 lbs [188 cm / 92 kg]

Cam Morrison is developing a solid two-way, power game. A natural goal scorer, Morrison has an excellent array of shots.  His wrist shot and snap shot are both hard and accurate, and feature a quick release. He is willing to use his size to drive the net, and has the hands to pounce on rebounds and get deflections when he is there. He is able to find soft spots in the opposition defence and get himself in open positions to get that shot off. Morrison is not a particularly creative passer, but he does create for his teammates through chasing down loose pucks, winning battles in the corners and then getting pucks to the front of the net. While he does not make a lot of fancy plays, he does make a lot of smart ones. At 6-foot 2-inches tall, and 203 pounds, Morrison is the rare prospect who already has a good amount of muscle on his frame. Of course he could add a little bit more, but he is well ahead of most of this draft class.  He takes advantage of this in battles along the boards and in front of the net, as well as in maintaining possession in the cycle game.

Morrison has very good speed and acceleration. He gets around the ice quickly, and his good first step helps him to get to loose pucks. He gets in quickly on the fore check and can punish opposing defenders and create turnovers. He also has good power in his stride, and good balance that allows him to be strong on the puck.  One area that could use some improvement is his edgework and agility.  He makes wide turns, and could stand to be better in changing directions.

Morrison is also effective in the defensive zone, often being used to match up against other teams lines, as well as playing a role as a key penalty killer. He continues to show his hockey IQ in the defensive zone, reading the play and creating turnovers and transition offense. Morrison is also good in supporting the defence down low, and helping to contain opponents in the cycle game.  Morrison also shows good face-off skills.

Cam Morrison has the potential to be a second or third line centre in the NHL, depending on how he develops over the next couple of years. The ultimate offensive potential is the biggest question mark here. Morrison plays the type of simple game that coach’s love, and has the defensive skills that teams are looking for. Morrison’s game is reminiscent of Mike Fisher of the Nashville Predators, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on talent or potential.

The following is a compilation of Cam Morrison highlights, assembled from youtube.

Check back tomorrow for the #54 prospect on our NHL Draft Board.

Main photo courtesy of the Youngstown Phantoms.