Boston Bruins prospect profile: Joe Morrow

Position:  Defenseman

Age:  21

Height/Weight:  6’-1”/204 pounds

Drafted:  First Round (23rd overall) in 2011 by Pittsburgh Penguins

Shoots: Left

Contract:  3-year/$925,000, entry-level

Strengths: Skating, puck handling, passing, shot, aggressiveness

The Bruins have done a good job at incorporating more offensive minded defensemen onto their blue line and Morrow is another one of those players.  His skating and puck handling ability makes him a threat to skate the puck out of his own zone.  He also has great vision with the puck and can set his teammates up for good scoring opportunities.  Thanks to a heavy shot, Morrow is also a threat to score and he is not afraid to shoot.  Last season Morrow had 128 shots on goal, good for second most by a defenseman on the Providence Bruins.  Morrow’s offensive ability has scouts projecting him to be a threat on the power play at the NHL level.

Weaknesses: Size, consistency, aggressiveness

Morrow does not possess the ideal size for an NHL defenseman, but the recent success of smaller defensemen (Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski) proves size is not the only determining factor in whether a player will be successful.  His lack of size however does bring into question whether he will be able to stay healthy at the next level.  Morrow will also need to prove he can be more consistent on defense.  The Bruins’ blue line is filled with young talent, and if Morrow wants to separate himself from the competition he must avoid defensive lapses.  The 21-year-old also needs to make sure one of his strengths does not become too much of a weakness.  Morrow’s aggressiveness makes him dangerous offensively, but also makes him susceptible to getting caught up ice.

Next season

Morrow will not see any time in Boston this season barring multiple injuries on the defensive blue line.  He will however get top line playing time in Providence which should help him advance his NHL readiness.  Morrow put up good numbers with the P-Bruins last season, finishing second in points among defensemen behind only David Warsofsky.  This season Morrow needs to work on being more consistent in every aspect of his game, especially on defense.  The promising defenseman should also try and add some strength so he can better deal with the bigger players at the NHL level.  Morrow has shown he has the skill to be a top-four NHL defenseman and if he reaches his potential, he will play a major role on the Bruins’ blue line in the future.