FlamesNation Prospect Profile: #11 Kenney Morrison

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Coming in at #11 on FlamesNation’s annual top 20 prospects rankings is newly signed free-agent defenseman Kenney Morrison.

Kenney Morrison (23), a product of Western Michigan University and native of Lloydminster, Alberta, is a smooth skating, right-handed big body defenseman (standing 6’3” and tipping the scales at 208 pounds). Morrison is known for having a cannon of a shot (deemed pro level) which he uses all the time. 

Morrison was one the most sought after free-agent college defensemen of 2014-15. Morrison, sensing the Flames may have some openings on the back-end for the next few years, chose to forego his senior year of college and sign a two-year entry-level deal with the Flames after his season ended in March of this year.

Over his college career, Morrison didn’t put up earth shattering scoring totals (54 points in 151 games) but led Western Michigan defensemen in scoring in each of his last two seasons. Mentioned above, Morrison is not shy to use his powerful shot from the point – registering 2.2 shots a game – putting him in the top 30 amongst all NCAA defensemen in that category.  

Kenney Morrison’s contract kicks in at the onset of the 2015-16 season. Upon signing with the Flames he joined the Adirondack Flames for a 10-game stint at the end of the 2014-15 season. In his 10-game showing with the Baby Flames, Morrison impressed many and really put himself on the radar of every one who follows the Flames with his smooth skating and passing ability while registering 6 points in those 10 games and putting 2.7 shots on net per game. A small sample but Morrison had the most shots per game on the entire team and the next closest defenseman was a shot per game off of Morrison’s pace.  

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS?

Morrison will most definitely start the year in Stockton with the Baby Flames unless he really wows during the pre-season and earns the 6th d-spot from a veteran like Engellend or Smid (pending he is able to play).  If Morrison continues on in a similar dominant fashion to his 10-game stint at the end of the 2014-15 season, he would likely be the 1st defenseman called up.  I definitely see him playing in the NHL this year and while he might not earn a full-time job right away, he should see a fair number of games.  

QUOTABLE

Well, you feel like he’s a returning
player, even though we had him really for 10, 12 games towards the
end of the year, you do build that relationship with them and you
have a trust and a belief in his ability as to what he can do. So I
think it’s real important that he, I guess, made the decision to come
and play for us. He didn’t have to when he signed his contract, but
he wanted to to try to get himself used to the league and the way it
was going to be played. I think he deserves a lot of credit for that
and, in turn, now we know what he’s all about, so we’re all fans of
his.

-Stockton Heat (and former Adirondack Flames) head coach Ryan Huska, on getting a head-start with Morrison at the end of last season.

Admittedly, I didn’t see much of Morrison last season
and all of my viewings were on TV, so that might limit it a bit. But my
general impressions were that he was a big-minute D for a good WMU team.
He was good on the PP for WMU and played in all three situations, as
far as I could tell. He plays with an edge, which is both good and bad,
and for a guy his size (listed 6-2, 210), he skates really well. His
work on the PP is highlighted by a slapshot that could rocket through
the boards. He’s just a good two-way D who is physical and skates well.

Mike McMahon of College Hockey News, emphasizing that he didn’t see him a lot (and only on TV), so it’s a bit of a mystery how he projects as a pro.