Weight: 175 Pounds
Date of birth: July 9, 2002
Hometown: Guelph, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 1, 18th overall, 2018 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings
|C Prospect||C Prospect||184 N.A.||
With stars Arthur Kaliyev and Jan Jenik already drafted by NHL squads, there weren’t a lot of reasons for the scouting community to converge on First Ontario Center in Hamilton and catch a glimpse of the Bulldogs young pivot Logan Morrison. That is, until Jan Mysak joined the team following the World Junior Championships. But was it enough?
With the cancellation of the season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it’s provided the opportunity to go back to re-read notes and dissect video.
Morrison was a first-round selection, 18th overall at the Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection following an impressive year of Minor Midget AAA hockey with the Guelph Jr. Gryphons during the 2017-2018 season. In 33 games, Morrison scored 32 goals and assisted on 42 others.
Morrison also did well with the Gryphons at the OHL Cup scoring 4 goals and 2 assists in 4 games. He would also represent Team OMHA White at the OHL Gold Cup and scored 5 goals in 4 contests.
From OHL Central Scouting:
Logan is one of the smartest offensive players in this year’s Priority Selection. He has a great understanding of the game and each situation. He is creative offensively but also makes the simple safe play which is usually the right one. He is a good skater that once in full stride he is deceivingly quick. He has great vision with the puck and scored numerous big goals for his team this season. Logan is one of those players that makes players around him better and he should continue to do this in the OHL.
The 2018-2019 season was Morrison’s rookie campaign in the OHL and had an impressive season with 14 goals and 20 assists in just 47 games. His 34 points were good for 9th among rookies but his .72 points-per-game were good enough for 6th.
A case could be made that Morrison didn’t make the expected jump offensively this season, based on his 23 goals and 22 assists in 59 games, and his .77 points-per-game rose only slightly. But when your lineup boasts Kaliyev, Jenik (until his injury) and Mysak (after his arrival), the top offensive situations are going there first – and there is no second guessing that although he did play with Jenik and Kaliyev at times.
The biggest improvement in Morrison from his rookie season was in his skating. I think he’s improved on his first step, his acceleration and his top speed. While it’s not explosive, he’s not slow and if he continues to put in the work and maybe adding a separation gear, it can only help him offensively.
Morrison is an extremely intelligent player. One of the more underrated aspects of his game is his puck possession abilities. He can hold onto the disk, sees plays developing quickly and dishes off perfect passes. But what is impressive is his play without the puck. He is able to move into space or drive the net knowing full well he is going to draw attention and create space for his teammates.
Despite his size, Morrison is not afraid to do battle behind the goal line on the forecheck and works his tail off to try and gain possession. He’s going to need to add some bulk to continue battling against bigger opponents.
Morrison is not just an offensive player. His defensive game has come a long way. His positioning is very good, he uses his stick effectively and he is good at transitioning to offence. In the neutral zone, he’s very good at anticipating and has shown improvements in breaking up plays before the opposition enters his zone. Again, adding some strength will help him win battles defensively.
Morrison has also shown marked improvement in his faceoff abilities. He’s still just at 48% on the season but that’s a big jump from the 40% a season ago.
NHL Central Scouting has Morrison at 190th among North American Skaters. That would put him outside the draft and looking at next season as a second opportunity. I think an NHL team should take him this season because if there is one thing we know for certain, it’s that Morrison will put in the work necessary.