Friday, February 23, 2007

Travis Morin Update

Washington's 9th Round Pick of 2004 Could Be a Steal. Article courtesy of www.mankatofreepress.com.

Senior has been Morin words can say

By Shane Frederick
The Free Press

MANKATOSitting out a game because of a
fighting penalty the game before, Minnesota State men’s hockey freshman Zach Harrison had to watch his team’s Dec. 29 game at Yale from the press box.
(Photo Courtesy of www.mankatofreepress.com)
While up there, the well-spoken rookie was coaxed into donning a headset and doing some color commentary during the Mavericks’ radio broadcast.
But as Harrison attempted to describe the action, teammate Travis Morin left him speechless.
“(Morin) came across the blue line and absolutely ripped a snap shot (for a goal),” Harrison recalled this week. “It was so fast. ... I was so in awe of how he did that.”
Morin has dropped a lot of jaws in his final season with the Mavericks. Tonight’s and Saturday’s games against Colorado College will be his final chance to do it before an audience at Midwest Wireless Civic Center.
The senior forward leads the Mavericks in scoring and ranks fifth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with 16 goals and 20 assists for 36 points. His 130 career points put him third on MSU’s Division I-era scoring list and 18th all-time.
After Morin scored a goal in MSU’s last home series against Michigan Tech, fans began the “Hobey Baker” chant, letting him know they believe he’s one of the nation’s best players.
In 2004, the Washington Capitals selected Morin in the ninth round of the National Hockey League draft. That now seems like quite the bargain for the 263rd overall pick.
“For whatever reason, he was underrated coming into this year,” Mavericks coach Troy Jutting said. “He’s getting a little more of what he deserves. ... He’s shown people that he’s a top-line performer in college hockey and is having a great senior season.”
Jutting didn’t underrate his co-captain, though.
With an otherwise neophyte team, the coach has given Morin a ton of ice time, the kind of minutes often reserved for top-tier defensemen, especially late in close games.
“Troy told me he’d be playing me a lot, and I’d have to be ready for that,” Morin said. “But that’s my job, and that’s what the team needs out of me. Power play, penalty kill, five on five, I have to be ready to go. As a hockey player, you want to be out there. You want to be playing.”
Up a goal or down a goal, Jutting said, he wants Morin on the ice in crunch time.
“I wish I had another one exactly like him,” Jutting said. “It’s easy to put him out there. He’s gifted offensively, but he’s also very good defensively. You can put him out there in all situations.”
If Morin wonders if the Mavericks’ youngsters are taking notice of his play, well, they are.
“His passion for the game inspires you as well,” Harrison said.
Harrison, a center, spent extra time working on his shot after practice Tuesday. He said he was trying to quicken his release and snap shots off the toe of his stick blade — perhaps trying to mimic what he saw Morin do that night against Yale.
“I just hope I can contribute the way (Morin) does,” Harrison said. “The goals, obviously, I’d love to do that, but the kind of leadership he brings, too.”
Morin is set to graduate in May with a degree in management. However, he said he might have the chance to sign with the Capitals after Minnesota State’s season ends.
But he’s not looking that far ahead. First, he said, he wants to try to lead the Mavericks to the WCHA Final Five for the first time since the year before he arrived in Mankato.
“Just to experience something beyond what we’ve already experienced would be amazing,” he said.
Perhaps that would leave Morin speechless.

2 comments:

Fauxrumors said...

1) Hey it would be a nice/feel good story to have a player drafted so late actually make it, but to put it into perspective the kid is 2 years OLDER than Alex Ovechkin
2) The leap from NCAA to NHL is not as difficult/uncommon as in the past but remains a very steep climb

Anonymous said...

Morin has skills you just cannot teach. He will get a look after the college season.