This is the story of Samuel Morin’s tragic career.
Morin began his professional career in 2011 playing with the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL. In his first year, while his offensive stats were poor, he was selected to the 2011-2012 All-Rookie Team. The following year, he only played 46 games due to injury, compared to the 62 games he played the year prior. Sam Morin’s career before being drafted was very promising. In most games, he would display his size with bone crushing hits and defensive prowess. Fans were optimistic about this young man.
It’s June 30th, 2013. The NHL entry draft is about to start. Meet Samuel Morin, an 18 year old defenseman from Lac-Beauport, Quebec. Weighing at 227 pounds with a height of 6’7, Morin was a talented player who dreamed of playing in the NHL one day. The draft starts, and players are being picked one by one. It is almost Sam’s time. Round 10 eventually hits and Valeri Nchushkin is drafted by the Dallas Stars. The next round begins and the Philadelphia Flyers are on the clock. Eventually, Sam Morin’s dream’s come true as he is picked during the 11th round by the Flyers.
After getting drafted, Morin happily signed a three-year entry level contract with the Flyers on the 17th of September. He was then immediately sent back to the QMJHL to continue development, like most players do. The 2013-2014 season was very successful for Morin, who scored 7 goals and had 24 assists for a total of 31 points. This season would prove crucial to Morin’s development and would bring him one step closer to making it in the big league. Morin’s dominating play would not stop there. Next year he would go on to score 5 goals and assist 27 times for a total of 32 points in 38 games. His two years in juniors would help him develop, but also reveal an unfortunate pattern … injuries. In his career, Sam Morin had not played a full season in any league. In the QMJHL, his closest to 68 games would be his rookie season, where he played 62 games. This pattern of injuries would later haunt him.
In 2015, Morin started his career in the AHL, with the Flyers affiliate the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In 76 games, he would contribute 19 points total. Sam’s career with Lehigh would end up being very promising. He was a leader on the ice and would dominate opponents with brute force. The 2016-2017 season would be similar to the previous season, with the caveat of only producing 16 points. By the end of the season, Sam was ready. The fans knew it and the coaches knew it; he was ready for the NHL. On April 4th, 2017, Sam was called up to play against the New Jersey Devils in his NHL debut. For the first few shifts, Morin had to adjust to the new style of play. Earlier on he struggled but quickly gained his boundaries. He lead the game in hits with 7 total, and used his body to be a physical force. This game was a good indicator of Morin’s play and gave hope to Flyers fans about his future.
Prepare yourself ladies and gentlemen, this is where it gets sad.
During the 2017-2018 season, Sam Morin tore is ACL. Only playing for a total of 17 games split between the NHL and AHL, fans were devastated. Last year, he was sidelined for the whole season while recovering from his injury. After his recovery, fans were thrilled to see him back. This year, Morin played one game with the Flyers and three with the Phantoms. During his stint with the Phantoms, Morin tore his ACL again. Unfortunately, Sam will miss the remainder of this season. As his injuries get worse, Morins dream of playing with the Flyers full time is dwindling. At 24 years old, Morin has only played 9 career NHL games, while most of the guys that were drafted first round in his class are in the NHL already.
Samuel Morin’s career has been full of tragedy and heartbreak. From going to a first round draft pick to tearing his ACL twice, Sam has not has the best career. Playing in the AHL for the Phantoms was tough because at the time, Dave Hakstol and Ron Hextall were in charge. That meant that players like Andrew MacDonald would be given ice time over young guys like Morin. But, the past is the past, and all we can do is hope for his recovery.
I hope you get better soon Sam.
By: Ryan Meyer (@ryanlmeyer)
Photo Cred: NBC Philly, NHL.com