The Calgary Flames have signed Western Michigan defenseman Kenney Morrison, 23 to a two-year, entry-level contract, the club announced on Thursday.
Morrison’s contract won’t kick in until the 2015-16 league year (which begins on July 1), according to TSN’s Bob Mckenzie. So in contrast with how the Flames offered to burn a year of Johnny Gaudreau’s contract in order to entice him to sign and forgo his senior year of college hockey, Morrison will be available to sign a tryout deal with the Adirondack Flames and participate in the Calder Cup playoffs. He’s recently done precisely that, according to McKenzie.
Read on past the jump.
Described in scouting reports as a heavy shooter – and yeah, the embedded video above provides ample evidence of that – Morrison is a six-foot-two, 205 pound blue liner who hails from Lloydminster, AB.
The veteran NCAA defender has attended development camps with the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings in recent years, and was considered one of – if not the best – free agent blue line prospect in the college ranks.
Morrison’s counting stats don’t particularly jump off of the page, which could speak to his having some limited upside. The scouting reports on the 23-year-old blue-liner are mostly glowing though, like this one from lastwordonsports.com’s Ben Kerr:
Morrison is a tremendous skater. He has outstanding speed, great acceleration, and superb edgework. As a result he is extremely mobile on the backend and a great two-way defender. The 22-year-old has an absolute cannon from the point, and if he can be just a little more accurate could really do damage on the powerplay. He also plays an excellent defensive game, and his ability to change directions quickly makes him a feared hitter off the rush.
Considering Morrison’s combination of pro size, heavy slap shot and skating ability, we might describe him – in classic scouting parlance – as toolsy. It’s a solid add for a Flames club that, Tyler Wotherspoon aside, was somewhat lacking in quality back-end prospect depth.