Judging by the responses in our comments section, many Flyers fans were excited by the selection of 6’6” Sam Morin at No. 11 overall in the NHL Draft on Sunday. Yes, he is a bit of project, but the potential sounds like it’s out of this world.
Others, predictably, were more concerned over where Morin was picked, which was much earlier than expected. Most prospect rankings put the 17 year old in the mid-to-late 20s – behind several defensemen the Flyers passed on in that spot – which would make him a late first rounder.
The day-after draft grades reflect those in the latter camp. Morin, a so-called “off-the-board” selection, was seen as a poor value at 11, earning a D grade from CBS Sports’ Chris Peters.
The Flyers really couldn't afford to go with such a high-risk pick here in Morin. He is a giant, he's tough and he fights and there is a lot of potential there, but Morin is very raw. He's got a long way to go before he makes it to the NHL. However, if he reaches his full potential, he could be a top-four guy. That's no guarantee, however. To me, it's too early to take this kind of risk for Philadelphia. If drafting D, I think Nikita Zadorov would've been safer here.
The Flyers also got the “Draft Losers” stamp from Puck Daddy’s Ryan Lambert.
Philadelphia Flyers: Losers. Big-time off the board pick for Samuel Morin, who the Flyers would love to repeatedly remind you doesn't have a lot of offense for where he was picked, doesn't skate well, and wholly lacks in puck skills. Looks like they were enticed by his size (6-foot-6, 200-plus pounds), and little more.
Obviously draft grades are just for fun. Nobody can look at the draft today and know who’s going to pan out and whether teams won or lost. Still, it’s safe to say “reaching” for Morin there raised some eyebrows.
Although not everyone was shocked. Craig Button, hockey analyst for TSN and one-time Calgary Flames general manager, had Morin rated much more closely to where he was taken. In fact, Button correctly predicted the Flyers would select Morin in his mock.