Calgary Flames sign college free agent Sam Morton (but not to an entry-level deal)

Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports
Ryan Pike
30 days ago
The Calgary Flames have gotten into the college free agent market. The club announced on Monday afternoon that they’ve signed centre Sam Morton, a senior with Minnesota State – Mankato, to a one-year contract worth $950,000. His NHL deal begins in the fall, and he’ll be joining the American Hockey League’s Calgary Wranglers on an amateur try-out deal for the balance of this season.
Update: Per our pals at Cap Friendly, Morton is too old for an entry-level deal (he turns 25 before Sept. 15) and so the NHL rejected their entry-level deal. A new deal will be filed.
Morton, 24, was recently named the Player and Forward of the Year by the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, his home conference. He had 24 goals and 34 points in 37 games this season with the Mavericks and served as the team’s captain.
Morton’s had an interesting path to pro hockey. He played two seasons with Wenatchee in the BCHL and then spent a season and change with Union College. He departed Union College to return to Wenatchee midway through the 2019-20 and subsequently transferred to Minnesota State, where he spent the next four seasons. His first season at Minnesota State, 2020-21, overlapped with current Flames forward Walker Duehr. His coach during this past season at Minnesota State was Luke Strand, formerly a scout with the Flames and an assistant coach for two seasons with the Abbotsford Heat.
According to the Minnesota State athletics website, Morton has already earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and is working towards a master’s in industrial/organizational psychology. In addition to those educational accolades, he’s been part of teams that won a BCHL championship, a WCHA conference championship and two CCHA conference championships. In 2021-22, he was part of a Minnesota State team that made it to the final of the Frozen Four national championship tournament, losing 5-1 to Denver in the final. Morton scored the only Minnesota State goal in the game and was named to the tournament’s all-star team.
Morton finished his collegiate career with 89 points in 144 games between Union College and Minnesota State.
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