2020-21 Team: Shattuck St. Mary’s U18 Prep
Date of Birth: November 1, 2002
Place of Birth: Darlen, Connecticut
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 192 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 39th (amongst NA skaters)
- Bob McKenzie, TSN: 36th
- Future Considerations: 41st
- Andrew Forbes, THW: 48th
- Peter Baracchini, THW: 46th
- Matthew Zator, THW: 25th
- DobberProspects: 22nd
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.
Related: 2021 NHL Draft Guide
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.
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.
However, Morrow is still very clearly a high school player benefiting from a larger frame than his competition. Like many young defenders, his defensive game is lacking, especially his awareness. He loves to go in for the pinch and is regularly one of the last defenders to re-enter the defensive zone, which puts his team at a disadvantage if he misses the play. He also can default into a pass-first mentality, which creates unnecessary turnovers. Although he regularly appeared to be one of the best players on the ice, given that much of his competition was smaller and younger than him, that shouldn’t be weighted too heavily in terms of his skill.
That being said, Morrow still has immense potential. He’ll be joining the University of North Dakota next season, where he’ll be playing alongside Ottawa Senators’ top pick Jake Sanderson, who has emerged as one of the top two-way defensemen in the NCAA. That’s a perfect situation to help him develop into a top offensive defenseman, but it will certainly take some time. After all, high school hockey players are incredibly risky to draft.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Scott Morrow – NHL Draft Projection
According to Future Considerations’ scout Josh Bell, Morrow will be a very interesting name to watch come draft day. Based on potential alone, he could be a top-20 pick. He also owns a dangerous right-handed shot, something most NHL teams are in the market for. However, the red flags may be too great to ignore, causing him to fall to the second or even third round. The most likely scenario is that he is one of the first taken on day two of the draft.
“Seldom do prep school players deserve attention in the first half of the top round in the NHL Draft but Scott Morrow has a special toolset. His raw tools in combination with his physical frame are among the best in the class. The Shattuck St. Mary’s star has been catching the eye of scouts and analysts alike since last season. Morrow plays with such a cerebral mindset, looking to attack at all times. Rarely allowing the game to come to him, he takes space away defensively with aggressive puck pursuit and tight gaps on the rush. When the puck isn’t on the stick of himself or a teammate, Morrow ensures that it gets there.” Tony Ferrari, Dobberprospects
“A talented offensive defender with size and quality skating posture. Can do whatever he wants at the prep-school level, but didn’t look out of place defensively in his USHL games. Off to North Dakota in the fall. That’s a program that knows how to develop players.” Cam Robinson, Dobberprospects
“When it comes to his playing style, he can be handful to skate around. When Morrow moves from the offensive zone to the neutral zone, he tends to play close to the vest and will opt to utilize his stick to push attackers away from his blue-line. Once he gets across his blue-line, he lowers his body and widens his stance. By doing so, he eliminates lanes for attackers. The attackers end up along the half-wall.” John Tessler, Smaht Scouting
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Defensive Awareness
- Overall raw skill
Morrow’s ability to generate offense from the back end and aggressively attack opponents with pinches has drawn some comparisons to Edmonton Oilers’ defenseman Tyson Barrie, who has nearly reached 60 points twice in his 10-year career. While it will take time for Morrow to get to that level, if the team that selects him is patient with his development, there’s a chance he could become another dynamic offensive defender with the ability to run a power play.
Risk – 5/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 8/10, Defence – 5/10
Scott Morrow Statistics
An elementary teacher by day and an avid hockey fan, Dayton joined The Hockey Writers in 2019 and currently covers the Ottawa Senators, World Juniors, and NHL Entry Draft.