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2011 NHL Draft Profile: D Joseph Morrow

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Defending Big D continues our annual series of looking at top draft prospects that could possibly have their name called by the Dallas Stars at the 2011 Entry Draft. Today, a surprising defensemen out of Canada...

Joseph Morrow
Team: Portland (WHL)
Born: December 9, 1992
Height: 6-0
Weight: 197 pounds
Position: Defense
Shoots: Left

NHL Central Scouting: 12th among North American skaters
Red Line: 36th overall
The Hockey News: 34th overall

Why the Stars would take him:

Morrow is a blend of a high-end puck-moving defenseman and a shutdown defenseman, giving him a versatile skill set. He has a cannon of a shot from the point, and can get it through traffic and on net quite often. He has a great first pass out of the zone, helping his team start breakouts into the offensive zone. Averaging almost a point per game, Morrow has shown that he is also a great passer and has poise on the puck. All of this to say: if he's on the board when the Stars pick, it would not be surprising at all to see him in the green, gold and black.

Why they would pass:

Morrow loves his cannon of a shot, particularly when playing the point on the power play. He loves it so much that he often takes too much time to get his shot off, which makes it easier for players to get into the shooting lanes and block his shot (although they'll probably have a very nice bruise by doing so.) He needs to work on his shot release instead of waiting for the perfect shot opportunity or winding up too much.

Another area of improvement for the versatile defenseman is to remember to be positionally sound. While he is looking for the outlet pass or the perfect shot, he sometimes forgets that his number one duty is to protect his own end. It is something that is expected to improve with age, assuming that the Stars can be patient before bringing him up to the big club.

Scouting report and video after the jump...

What they're saying:

“It’s amazing how strong he is. He has so much power in his legs and upper body, and his leg strength is a big part of his explosive skating as well as his big shot.”

- Portland Director of Hockey Operations Matt Bardsley

“Morrow’s skills are highlighted by hi great skating ability. Morrow has smooth strides, and wins races on a regular basis.”

- HockeyProspect.com 2011 Draft Guide

NHL draft video: Joseph Morrow (via NHL.com):