23-Year-Old Defenseman – Boston Bruins
Joe Morrow Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, one-way contract extension worth $800,000 with the Bruins in July of 2016.
Morrow saw 16:08 worth of ice time in his season debut in Thursday's 2-1 win over New Jersey.
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Joe Morrow: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
While Bís fans still feel the sting of the blockbuster trade that sent sniper Tyler Seguin to Dallas in the summer 2013, Morrow remains a wild card in the ultimate impact of the seemingly lopsided transaction. If the 22-year-old develops into a reliable top-four blueliner for the team, which is eventually within the realm of possibility, then the trade would become more palatable from Bostonís perspective. When injuries hit the Bruins last season, Morrow saw some time filling in on the teamís back line, and while he only scored one point during his 15 contests with the big club last season, he didn't look out of place at the NHL level. For Morrow to take the next step as a pro, heíll need to morph from a young player focused on not making glaring errors to one who can use his smooth skating and promising puck-moving skills with more confidence. With that in mind, Morrow is set to compete with the likes of Zach Trotman, Colin Miller and Matt Irwin for blue line spots behind roster locks Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid. If Morrow secures a job with the Bruins to start the season, itís not hard to imagine him seeing some power-play action when injuries hit, and in such a scenario, he could provide a degree of fantasy utility. In any case, the 2011 first-rounder continues to possess a good measure of untapped potential, and with the teamís personal changes this offseason, he has a solid opportunity to establish himself as an NHL regular sooner rather than later.
The Bruins seemingly boast a glut of NHL-caliber defensemen heading into 2014-15 season, so thereís not a ton of buzz surrounding Morrowís short-term fantasy prospects. Still, along with the likes of David Warsofsky and Zach Trotman, Morrow isnít that far off from NHL consideration. At 21, Morrow could probably benefit from additional AHL seasoning, but he showed promise in his first year in the Boston organization, recording 29 points in 56 AHL contests with Providence. While the jury is still out on the blockbuster trade that sent Tyler Seguin to Dallas last summer, if Morrow -- who projects as a puck-moving NHL blueliner down the road -- realizes his potential, the trade could start looking better for the Bruins, who also landed the surprising Reilly Smith and possible 2014-15 first-liner Loui Eriksson in the deal.
Morrow, who was the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, projects as a mobile two-way blueliner at the NHL level, but the Bruins have enough depth on defense to bring the 20-year-old along slowly. He was traded to Boston as part of the seven-player deal that sent Tyler Seguin to the Stars.
Morrow nearly broke camp with the Penguins last year straight from the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. Morrow has tons of offensive potential and doesn't shy away from contact. In his third full WHL campaign, the 19-year-old defenseman scored 17 goals and 64 points in 62 games while also compiling 99 penalty minutes. Morrow carried his strong play over into the postseason, netting four goals and 17 points in 22 contests. Based upon experience, Morrow probably sits behind only Simon Despres as a young defender who figures to help Pittsburgh in 2012-13. Morrow excels on the power play and makes for a great pick in fantasy hockey, especially in keeper leagues.
Pittsburgh's 2011 first-round draft choice, Morrow will likely turn pro in the next couple seasons. Given the lack of top flight forward prospects within the system, Morrow's selection came as a bit of a surprise, given the team didn't have draft picks in the third or fourth round. Morrow is not seen as an offensive blueliner, but rather a two-way rearguard. As a result, there's no reason to rush out and buy him in keeper leagues.