The Winnipeg Jets defied the Central Scout No. 27 rank on Josh Morrissey a bit by taking him 13th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. Many experts were mystified by such a high selection for the 6-foot, 186-pound defenseman from the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders.
Winnipeg must have taken to the 47 points that Morrissey notched in 70 games from the blue line last season, which landed him at 12th among all players in the WHL. Morrissey’s defensive prowess, however, has been questioned by many including the excellent crew over at CBS Eye on Hockey.
“This one surprised me a lot. Morrissey is a terrific puck-mover and has plenty of offensive upside, but he is an undersized defenseman who has some noticeable deficiencies in his own end. Considering what was available to Winnipeg on the board at both forward and defense, this is a high-risk selection for a pretty weak prospect pool. He could be a long way away.”
The Jets have recently added Devin Setoguchi via trade to help bolster the forward spot in the immediate future, while 18-year-old Morrissey will probably spend a couple years being groomed in the WHL and AHL before joining the Jets on American pro ice.
Morrissey may have raised questions about his size on the blue line, but his skating ability has enamoured others, including MyNHLDraft.com.
“His strongest tool is his skating, which is easily high end, if not better. He has a very graceful stride, and his footwork is precise in any direction. His top gear, agility, pivots, and gap control stand out in each game he plays. He is also a top-end puck mover, frequently making aware and accurate passes.”