Rounded, grounded Morrissey ready for draft day

Aaron Vickers2013 Draft Center, Features

Josh Morrissey is smarter than the average bear.

As the recipient of the Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Trophy as the Western Hockey League’s scholastic player of the year, he knows better than to read into the fact that while 24 teams interviewed him at the NHL Scouting Combine, six teams opted not to.

“A lot of times from what I’ve heard, guys go into the draft thinking that there’s a team that the interview went great and they’re going to get them for sure and all of a sudden they pass by him and don’t take him and then a team that hasn’t talked to them picks him,” Morrissey said. “I’m not too concerned about that. I think, from what I’ve heard and what I’ve been told, just go in with an open mind and excited. It’s an exciting day wherever you go.

“I guess in that sense, there’s not too much to read into but obviously all teams do things differently.”

Given his performance in the Western Hockey League this season, it’s a surprise that the Prince Albert Raiders standout didn’t have a half-dozen more interviews on his docket nearly a month ago.

Morrissey put up 15 goals and 47 points in 70 games for the Raiders before helping Canada to gold with seven points in seven games at the World Under-18 Championship.

He won’t have to wait long on June 30th to hear his name called.

Fifteenth in Future Considerations final ranking for the 2013 NHL Draft, Morrissey is one of the draft’s premier offensive-defense talents available.

That doesn’t mean the Calgary, AB native won’t be sweating it, though.

“I hope the air conditioning is on, that’s for sure,” Morrissey said. “It’ll be exciting and it’ll be a fun day. I’ll be there with all my family. I guess for them and for myself, it’s kind of a pretty big milestone obviously and shows that all the work’s paid off, all those early mornings and all the money my parents have spent over the years for me.

“I think for all of us, it’s kind of a huge day, but definitely an exciting point in my career for everybody in my family.”

Until then, the 6-foot, 185-pound Morrissey is already prepping to impress whichever team selects him by training at Crash Conditioning alongside fellow draft eligibles Morgan Klimchuk and Jared Hauf.

He’s also getting a crash course from Jordan Eberle, who also trains at the gym.

“Seeing a whole bunch of other NHL-type players, you learn a lot about work ethic,” Morrissey said. “You don’t try to bug them too much but when they have little things they tell you or teach you, you are eyes wide open. Especially as a young kid growing up, you don’t come into contact a lot of times with NHL players so to be in the gym right next to them, it’s pretty cool and it definitely helps you prepare and learn.”

He hit the books during the season. He’s hitting the weights after it.

It won’t be long before he hits the NHL.