In keeping with quasi tradition, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Penguins General Manager Ray Shero took Portland Winterhawks defenseman Joseph Morrow with the 23rd overall pick. Morrow has some bloodlines within the league, his father Dan, brother Josh, and uncle Darrell, had all been drafted previously, Morrow’s physical style of play is a bit of a change from that of the family tradition.
Morrow lists his favorite NHL player as Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks, and is also compared to his idol quite frequently â€“ and judging from his style of play, with the right conditioning and training, that could be a very valuable asset to the future of the Penguins organization. At 6′, the 197 pound defenseman needs to add a little bulk to pack the punch that Seabrook can, but it’s not completely out of the question. He’s a physical player when he has to be, but lets his offensively minded game speak for itself; he averaged a point per game during the WHL playoffs. Morrow has also been compared to a Penguins defensive legend, Paul Coffey. That enough should make teams, scouts and fans take notice.
Morrow’s fun fact that makes him more human? Keep an eye out for Superman boxers; his favorite superhero.
With the Penguins second round pick, Shero took — keep your surprise at a minimum here — defenseman Scott Harrington of the London Knights, 54th overall. Harrington looks to be more of a stay at home defenseman, who will occasionally put up some numbers, so he’s not completely offensively inept. Harrington is a good skater, but lacks some consistency, as many young players do. It’s nothing a few seasons in the minors won’t fix.
Harrington is a hard player to pinpoint a comparison to. I’ve seen him mentioned in the same sentence as Andrew Ference, but not as physical. At 6’0″, 200 lbs, he’s another player like Morrow who needs to add some bulk to possibly make his game more physical. He seems to rely more on his positioning, than physicality, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
On to the real shocker of the Penguins draft choices, selected in the fifth round, 144th overall, is center Dominik Uher. Not only is he not a defenseman, he is the only European skater the Penguins selected in this draft. Uher, still young as all draft picks are, put up reasonable numbers (76 points in 118 games) with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. While he’s not likely to be seen in a Penguins sweater anytime soon, Uher is a good depth prospect for a team that seems to be stacking up on defensemen, and dwindling down on power forwards.
Uher stands 6’0″, 195 lbs and can only improve from here on out. He is a strong two-way player who can handle the puck. Another season or two with the Chiefs, and sometime in the minors will do Uher nothing but a world of good for the future of the Penguins organization.