CALGARY, AB -- Kenney Morrison loved his time at Western Michigan University.
The Lloydminster, AB native spent three years with the Broncos, playing in 115 games and developing into an extremely well-rounded defenceman.
Possessing one of the hardest shots in collegiate hockey, Morrison plays an up-tempo style and likes to chip in offensively. But over the course of his three seasons, he sharpened up in his own zone, learned to use his 6-foot-3, 208-pound frame more effectively, and is playing a more disciplined game.
It was tempting to stay for his senior year, and cap off a successful collegiate career, but Morrison felt it was time for the next chapter with his career.
“I felt it was the right time for me to move on. Development-wise, I feel like I’ll benefit more playing more games. There is nothing wrong with being in university – I loved it, loved my teammates, the coaches.
"It was a hard decision to make. But everything kind of clicked and fell into place. It felt right.”
As one of the most sought-after college free agents, Morrison likely had more than his fair share of suitors but after looking over the options, he felt that the Flames were the best fit.
Calgary has given young players plenty of opportunities and has consistently shown that players will be given ice time based on their skill, commitment and work ethic -- not because of their veteran status, contract size, or contract length.
"It’s a great organization from top to bottom," he stated. "The people I’ve talked to couldn’t say anything bad about the organization, the management, or the coaching staff.
"The scouting staff, they’ve been treating me very well since the day I first talked to them. I’m very excited and I'm really looking forward to a future here."
While the Flames cupboards are far from bare, there is definitely a wealth of opportunity for defensive prospects to break through the ranks. Morrison believes his style of play will mesh well with the system Calgary employs and he will be able to thrive with the organization.
"I’m a two-way defenceman who likes to have the puck on his stick. I like shooting the puck, getting pucks to the net, and helping contribute offensively."
Before he can kick off his professional career, he has some business to attend to at Western Michigan. The business major still has classes to finish up and finals to take.
After that, he will likely spend some time in Adirondack before he begins his off-season training regimen and preparing for his first full professional season.
"We’ll see where the summer takes me. I’m happy to do whatever management would like. If they want me to stay in Calgary for the summer, I’ll be there. If they want to train back in Lloyd, I’ll do that. Whatever they’d like me to do, I’ll do.
"I'm just excited to take this next step and want to prove myself."