Sam Morin isn’t going to admit to playing soft too often.
At 6-foot-7 and 210 pounds, the Philadelphia Flyers 2013 first-round pick loves to throw his body – and opponents – around and take advantage of his size while patrolling the blue line.
However, for the first four days of rookie camp practices, the 19-year-old defenseman had to scale back. He was finally unleashed, though, during Tuesday’s rookie game against the Capitals in front of a packed SkateZone.
Morin got into a fight in the first period – and landed some decent blows before taking former junior teammate Liam O’Brien down to the ice – cross-checked Kevin Elgestal hard after the Capital did the same to Petr Straka in front of the Flyers bench and delivered a handful of memorable checks throughout the game.
“It was intense out there,” Morin said following the Flyers’ 3-0 win. “In practice we went hard but that was against my own teammates and I was more soft, maybe.”
While Morin was able to shed his tender side, he also got to play alongside Shayne Gostisbehere, who is another highly-touted prospect, in an actual game. The two were paired over the weekend in practice and remained a unit against the Caps.
“He’s a great player to play with,” said Gostisbehere, who is likely ticketed to start the season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. “He is a first-round pick for a reason. We moved the puck well together. He’s not going to be skating up and down, but he’ll be bruising in the corner and just squeaking it out to me.”
The defensemen’s styles seem to complement each other perfectly. Gostisbehere is a puck-carrying defenseman while Morin adds size and grit.
“He is more good with the puck than me,” said Morin, who will probably return to his junior league team this season. “I am more of a big guy and crush guys with the puck. I think we made a good pairing today.”
It’s one the Flyers wouldn’t mind seeing on the blue line in the near future and for the next decade.
“I thought they played good together,” said Terry Murray, who served as coach for the rookie game. “There was puck movement. Sam was moving the puck to Ghost and Ghost got a little extra of that dipsy doodle sometimes, maybe a little bit too much one time in front of the net. But he’s an exciting guy.
Laughton expects to make Flyers
For Flyers forward Scott Laughton, rookie camp is one thing.
Training camp, which opens on Friday, is a whole different world for the 2012 first-round draft pick who is attempting to make the Flyers.
“You are going with the big boys and it’s time to go with those guys and try and show your stuff there,” Laughton said. “You have to show you can make plays up there. It’s definitely different from here.”
Even still, Laughton doesn’t plan to change his approach.
“I think it stays the same and you have to stay confident,” said Laughton. “I think I have been confident – not overly confident – but I have tried to show what I can do. That is what I am going to try and do in main camp.”