Ask and ye shall receive. Canadian Hockey League president David Branch asked the NHL for clarification on Chicago Blackhawks prospect Jeremy Morin and his ability to play in the American Hockey League this season.
The verdict? The 19-year-old Morin is AHL eligible.
Branch’s CHL has an agreement with the NHL stating players drafted out of one of the three junior leagues can only play minor pro if they are 20 years old by Dec. 31 or have played in the CHL for four seasons.
The argument in favour of Morin? He wasn’t drafted from a CHL team.
Morin was drafted in the second round, 45th overall in 2009 from the United States National Team Development Program and joined the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers the following year. He was dealt this offseason to Chicago as part of a larger trade involving Dustin Byfuglien.
The Blackhawks, citing Morin’s rapid development last year in Kitchener, want to put him with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.
They will now be able to.
The Morin ruling is one of significant consequence for the CHL. Goaltender Jack Campbell, taken 11th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars, has joined the Windsor Spitfires this season. A former USNTDP standout, Campbell falls under the Morin mold and should be eligible for the AHL next season.
Jarred Tinordi of the London Knights, a first round pick of the Montreal Canadiens, could also follow suit joining the CHL club after being drafted out of the USHL and balking on a commitment to the University of Notre Dame.
The precedent for Morin’s move was made by John Carlson, who left the Knights after one season to join the Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals.
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!