With the 40th pick of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Carolina Hurricanes have selected Scott Morrow from Shattuck St. Mary’s U18 Prep.
Ranked as high as 23rd by some outlets, Morrow was one of the most highly touted high school prospects in this draft. Despite the risk that comes with picking a player out of high school, Morrow is worth it, possessing all of the size and intangibles a team would want out of a defenseman.
On the offensive end, he has unrelenting force and is great at deceiving defenders, possessing the Hockey IQ to make the right play. On the defensive end, his 6-foot-2, 192-pound frame paired with his smooth skating ability makes it a pain for forecheckers to get around.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“Drafting a high school player is incredibly risky. Too often, a big prospect will dominate in high school but will then struggle at the next level facing opponents of equal size and skill. Two recent examples are Mark Jankowski, taken in the first round by the Calgary Flames in 2012, and Casey Mittelstadt, drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of 2017. Both looked promising coming out of high school but have so far failed to live up their draft-day hype.
“However, all that is thrown out the window when talking about Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep. Considered one of the premier hockey development schools, several NHL stars have benefitted from their program at one point, boasting alumni such as Sidney Crosby, Zach Parise, Jonathan Toews, Kyle Okposo, and Clayton Keller. This year, another name could be added to that list: Scott Morrow.
Related: 2021 NHL Draft Guide
“At 6-foot-2 and 192 pounds, Morrow is already a dominant presence on the blue line. He’s an elite, fluid skater, which, when paired with his size, strong edgework, and agility, makes him very difficult for attackers to get around. He is aggressive in the neutral zone, attacking his opponents and closing out their line of sight before they can get in a spot to take a shot.
“But, where Morrow really shines is when the puck is on his stick. In his first season at St. Mary’s U18 in 2018-19, at just 16 years old, he was second in scoring among defensemen, putting up 15 goals and 52 points in 53 games. The following season, he was even more lethal around the net, scoring 22 goals and 67 points in 46 games, which ranked third on the team. In 2020-21, he only appeared in 24 games but still sat third in team scoring and seventh among all United States Hockey Schools with six goals and 33 points.
“Morrow’s offensive prowess comes down to his speed and agility. He’s able to duck in and out of traffic while tightly controlling the puck, much like top-10 hopeful Brandt Clarke, adjusting plays on the fly under pressure but still able to keep up his speed. When he has the puck, he’s always looking for an opportunity to attack, either by himself or by setting up a teammate. He can dictate the pace of the game, and it’s clear he loves to do it.”
How This Affects Hurricanes Plans
With the Hurricanes recently dumping Jake Bean to the Columbus Blue Jackets, their defensive prospect pool needed a new addition. Morrow adds a dynamic touch to that prospect pool. His defensive game needs work and he won’t make the NHL right away, but when he is ready, he will add a huge offensive touch to the team. He has the chance to be the quarterback of their powerplay and a solid top-four defenseman by 2023-24. Morrow will be playing college hockey at UMass in 2022, so Hurricanes fans should be watching his development there this season.
Colby Guy is a writer for the Florida Panthers department here at THW. He’s a senior at Florida Atlantic University and currently serves as a social media manager and photographer for FAU Owls Nest. Previously, Colby has written for FanSided as a New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, and Nashville Predators writer. He also served as Editor-In-Chief for FAU’s University Press.