Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: C Cameron Morrison

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks own seven picks early in each round. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Vancouver will have a large variety of talented players to choose from, including centre Cameron Morrison of the USHL Youngstown Phantoms.

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vancouver canucks /

Name: Cameron Morrison

Position: Centre/Left Wing

Shoots: Left

Height, weight: 6’3”, 205 lbs

Team/League: Youngstown Phantoms, USHL

Stats (from 







NHL CSS Ranking: 46th (North American Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2/5, 4/5

NHL-potential: Top-Nine Forward

Draft Range: Second Round

Scouting report

"A big, strong all-around player that thinks the game at a high level and executes plays with purpose and drive. Accelerates well and has no issues getting around the ice with haste; transition game will need some tweaks. Very good vision and puck skills, and has the size to make a difference driving to the net and causing havoc for the opposition’s defence. Defensively sound, using his size to his advantage along the boards and getting his stick in place to deflect passes out of harm’s way. Moving forward, Morrison will have every opportunity to develop into a smart power forward that can play in all situations and make it difficult on the opposition. [Elite Prospects]"


Cameron Morrison is a big power forward who boasts a nice all-around skill set. The 6-foot-3, 201 pound centre can also play on the left wing and can be used in a lot of different situations.

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What Morrison does best is use his size. He drives hard to the net like a power forward should, wins board battles thanks to his size and reach, and plays a strong forecheck. The 17-year-old battles hard and plays with a lot of energy.

Furthermore, Morrison has good hockey sense and a good understanding of the game. He sees the ice well, finds open space when carrying the puck and sees open passing lanes to distribute the puck to his teammates. On defence, Morrison positions himself well and uses his reach to break up passing lanes and block passes as well as shots.

Morrison may not be outstanding defensively, but he knows what he needs to do and does his job to his abilities.


While Morrison is a strong player in the offensive and defensive zones, he could improve his play in between. Needs to improve his transition game and be quicker in switching from offence to defence or forecheck to backcheck.

Issues with his transition game a in large part due to the skating struggles he has always had but has been able to improve. Morrison still needs to improve his overall skating — speed, agility and edge work — which is the big reason why he will likely fall out of the first round. His big area of weakness that he has improved in but scouts are still skeptical about.

Final Thoughts

If the Vancouver Canucks draft second overall, they will get a big, talented power forward in Patrik Laine. Laine’s style of play has been compared to Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn, which also happens to be the player Morrison tries to model his game after, as he mentioned in the Pipeline Show.

So, if Vancouver misses out on Laine but wants a big power forward, Morrison might be a great option. The big issue has been his skating, but he made huge strides — pun not intended — in that regard last season, and should be a sure-fire second-round pick at this point.

The Canucks need to add to their prospect pool on every position, but a power forward like Laine or Morrison would be particularly nice. Along with Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi, Bo Horvat, Jared McCann and Brock Boeser, Vancouver could have their future top six set after this year’s draft.

Next: Charlie McAvoy: 2016 NHL Draft Profile

If they end up drafting that franchise defenceman they desperately need in the first round, Morrison would definitely be a great pick. If they win a lottery pick and get Laine, Auston Matthews or Jesse Puljujarvi, they might not need Morrison in the second round.

Jim Benning wants to pick the best player available and that seems like the best decision. Which leaves us with the question: is Morrison a top-33 player in this draft? We will likely find out next year, when he plays his freshman season at the University of Notre Dame — but the Canucks don’t have that time to make a decision.