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03-24-2013, 06:15 PM
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Dallas Stars receive D Joe Morrow

Joe Morrow was a first round pick by Pittsburgh in 2011, selected 23rd overall. He was a dynamic player in the WHL in 2010-11 and 2011-12, being named a first team All Star in 2011-12. Morrow's strength is his offensive game; he is a high-end skater, a puck-mover with a bomb of a shot. He has all the tools to be a top three defenseman, and if he were to truly hit his peak, a top pairing defenseman. At this time last year, I would have said that such a projection would have above-average risk attached to it, and this season is evidence why. Morrow has 15 points in 57 AHL games in his rookie pro season, not exactly typical numbers for a stud offensive defenseman. He has struggled with the physical and defensive aspects of the game to the point where his ice time is not that high. He hasn't received penalty killing time or any tough defensive minutes.

Even with his struggles in mind, he is still a top 100 prospect in hockey, but once the new draft class comes in, it will be in the 60-100 range as opposed to the #35 ranking I gave him this summer. He becomes one of Dallas' best prospects along with winger Brett Ritchie and center Radek Faksa. With how well young defensemen Jamieson Oleksiak and Brenden Dillon have looked in the pro ranks, Dallas can afford to be patient with Morrow and let him work out the kinks in his game.

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