The Flyers took Samuel Morin with the No. 11 overall pick in June's draft. (AP)
Updated: 6:46 p.m.
After playing in his first NHL exhibition game, Samuel Morin said he still held high hopes of somehow making the Flyers' roster.
Then, he quickly added, he needed to sign a pro contract, first.
That happened early Tuesday afternoon as Morin agreed to a three-year, entry-level deal worth $4.275 million. That gives him a cap hit of $1.425 million (bonuses included) annually.
Morin said coming into the arena Tuesday, he had a feeling a deal was going to happen.
“Yeah, a little bit,” Morin said. “But it wasn’t completely done. I don’t think it makes me more relaxed because a lot of guys have a contract but never play in the NHL. I just have to work hard to get here.”
The 18-year-old prospect who played for Rimouski has been nothing short of a standout on the blue line in both the Flyers' rookie and prospects camps.
Morin was the Flyers' first-round pick this past summer at No. 11 overall in the NHL draft.
He had an impressive opening game against Washington on Monday with two assists in a 4-3 shootout loss to Washington (see story).
“He was really composed out there with the puck,” said coach Craig Berube, who handled the split-squad in Philly. “That’s the thing that jumped out at me. Playing in his first exhibition in the NHL, I thought he was tremendous. He did some really good things with the puck.
“Hanging onto it. Not panicking. He looked really good on the power play. Made a nice play to Vinny [Lecavalier] for a goal on the power play.”
While the Flyers are actually overloaded right now with nine defensemen on one-way contracts, Morin is making a case to stick around even though the Flyers' organizational philosophy with an 18-year-old is usually to send them back for more seasoning.
Yes, he’s been impressive offensively and even defensively, but he still needs to work on his footwork in front of the net in various situational plays. The Flyers likely won’t rush his development because there is no pressing need to fill a spot on an already crowded blue line, and he still needs time.
“I don’t think that’s changed,” said John Paddock, the team's director of player personnel. “He has all the tools. He’s a young player. The right things need to be done. It’s good experience for him being here.”