Could Brad Morrison be the Next Blackhawks Breakout Rookie?
By Jeremiah Lee
In the questionable roster move, the Chicago Blackhawks called Brad Morrison up to the big leagues.
In a move that sent Reese Johnson, Nicolas Beaudin, and Collin Delia to the Rockford IceHogs, the IceHogs sent three prospects back in return. Probably none of them will see NHL ice time, other than Brad Morrison. In a season where breakout rookies have been a staple in the Blackhawks’ lineup, Morrison could follow suit.
The Chicago Blackhawks acquired Brad Morrison in a trade that involved Olli Maata, sending him to the Los Angeles Kings in a salary-cap move. Morrison is a fast player with high creativity, reaching top speed within a couple strides, and the Blackhawks scouts have a pretty good track record when it comes to unknown, unproven guys. No one knows who won this trade just yet.
In the AHL, Morrison looks to have led the way for the team, scoring three goals in four games on a lackluster IceHogs team, and maintained a +5 rating while the former starting goaltender, Matt Tomkins, carries a 4.08 GAA to the Blackhawks. Can he continue his responsible play in the NHL? I think so.
According to some scouts, Morrison brings a high-offensive upside, using his speed and puck handling to create chances for himself. He has a moderate to high work ethic, always in board battles, which reminds me quite a bit about Philipp Kurashev.
We know Kurashev possesses magic hands and strong puck control and patience, and Morrison could possess the same skills. However, Morrison’s creativity could get him into trouble.
We won’t know this for sure until we watch him play in the NHL, preferably against Detroit. Playing him in March would be like feeding a chicken to a pack of wolves. Playing an unproven 24-year-old rookie against the best teams in the NHL is just something a person wouldn’t do or consider.
However, Stan Bowman isn’t exactly a normal GM, so we could see him debut next month.