In my Intro to the 2013 Draft for the Canadiens, I referenced the search for size and skill in a single body. Generally, players that fall out of the top 10, and even the first round, will be lacking one or the other. Therefore, it is up to team scouts to find players that possess one with the potential to develop the other. That is how you end up with beasts like Zdeno Chara, who was drafted 56th overall. The player in this draft that I believe has the most Chara-like potential is Rimouski Oceanic defenseman Samuel Morin. Morin, in a lot of ways, is quite the opposite of Morrissey. He stands at 6'6", 205 lbs, and uses that size to his advantage, both in terms of a physical presence and in terms of long reach to break up plays. He is a dominant defensive defenseman whose greatest advantage, besides his size, is his fluid skating ability, something which can set him apart from other big men at the highest level.
|2011-12||Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)||62||0||8||8||-2||57|
|2012-13||Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)||46||4||12||16||+10||117|
Morin came into the year as a potential mid-round selection, but has charged up the rankings thanks to a strong showing at the U-18s with Canada - winning a gold medal - and a solid regular season in which he doubled his points, but most of all, an incredible playoff in which he tied for second in team scoring with seven points in six games. Many scouts believe there is untapped offensive potential here, and at that size, Morin could become something special.
The St. Henri, Quebec native is not without flaws, however. While his skating overall is solid, his footwork could use some work, as well as his decision-making. His shot also isn't much of a threat, so he'll never be much of a threat on a powerplay unless he develops that. These are things that can be worked on, however, and considering that he may still have more growing to do, Morin is a player likely to interest all 30 GMs.
Corey Pronman, Hockey Prospectus:
Morin had a fine draft season, and while he still needs to work on a few areas of his game, he is progressing in the right direction. His main asset is his physical gifts, as he is 6'6", 200-pounds, while still remaining mobile. That combination is unique, and it makes him a desirable asset. He is pretty coordinated with his feet for such a big man, as he has a technically sound stride, and the ability to move up ice well. He will use his size well to rub off checks and deliver nice hits, although he certainly still has room to fill out...His decision-making is his main area of concern, as he can lose his man in own end, as well as make the odd bad giveaway.
Bill Melzer, HockeyBuzz:
Morin is a rawhide-tough defensive defenseman whose upside some like Button have likened to a less hyped version of Zadorov or even current Flyers blueliner Luke Schenn. The offensive upside is modest at best but he is very aggressive and physical with a 6-foot-6 frame to back it up.
Morin has such raw potential that there is no real consensus ranking among the scouting community. His skating ability at his size is an asset NHL teams will surely covet. He can move the puck well with an outlet pass and shows enough poise with the puck on his stick to seek out his best option. Morin doesn't have an overwhelming shot, but it is utilitarian in that he generally gets it on net. He's solid in his own end and uses his long reach beneficially.
ISS Rank: 30
Craig Button Rank: 13
FC Rank: 35
McKeen's Rank: 10
Pronman Rank: 60
Hockey News Rank: 20
Average Rank: 28
Personal Rank: 15
Morin is a player that some general managers likely have ranked in their top-10s, but that some have outside their top-30s. There's a chance that Morin would drop to the Canadiens at 34th or 36th, but I wouldn't bank on it. Seeing how his stock has risen, My gut feeling is that he will be gone before the Habs step to the podium at 25th, but if he's not, Bergevin will have to take a long look at this local boy, because he has the upside to be a top defenseman.