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OTF: Morin, Vecchione to make NHL debuts against NJD

More news, notes & lineup information ahead of tonight's Flyers-Devils game

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

MORIN RECALLED

Prior to the morning skate in Newark, NJ, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that the club has recalled defenseman, Sam Morin, from their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. 

Morin will make his NHL debut tonight when the Flyers take on the Devils at the Prudential Center for their final road game of the season. He will wear No. 50.

"I'm just going to be ready go. It's a great opportunity for me and I just can't wait," said Morin. "It's a dream come true for me and I've worked all my life for it. I'm so excited."

Morin's parents will be making the 10-hour drive down from Quebec and will arrive in Newark in time to be there for the occasion. 

Morin was paired with Shayne Gostisbehere at the morning skate, someone who he has been paired with before at training camp and in several Flyers preseason games adding to his comfort level for his debut.

"I'm just going to play my game. Play physical and see what happens. I'm here to play hockey and have fun in my role."

The 21-year-old Morin has three goals and 12 assists for 15 points with 120 penalty minutes with the Phantoms this season, his second since turning pro. 

He has appeared in 144 out of 146 possible games from the start of his AHL career, playing in 68 of the club's 70 games this season and all 76 games in his rookie campaign. 

 

VECCHIONE DEBUTS

Also slated to make his NHL debut is forward Mike Vecchione, who was taking part in his third morning skate with the Flyers and was centering a line with Colin McDonald and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare based off the combinations at the skate. He will wear No. 74.

Upon entering the lineup, Morin and Vecchione are the fourth and fifth Flyers to make their NHL debut this season, joining Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov and Roman Lyubimov.

"It's every little kid's dream to play in the NHL," said Vecchione who noted that Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol let him know this morning that he would be in the lineup in order to have him get a good night sleep and keep the nerves down. 

"I don't think its sunk in yet, probably when I'm out there for my first shift or putting on the jersey, getting ready to go out there for warmups, whatever it is, but I'm just trying to stay focused and not let the bigger stage get the best of me and just out there and have some fun. I've been playing hockey my whole life, just a couple system adjustments there, but for the most part I'm just going to go out there an play my game and enjoy it."

Vecchione recently signed an entry-level deal with the Flyers after a four-year career at Union College and was tied for the scoring lead among all NCAA players with 63 points (29g-34a). 

He will make a brief trip to Chicago on Friday because of obligations tied to being one of three Finalists for the NCAA's Hobey Baker Award Ceremony. Vecchione stated that while he would be back here in time for Saturday's game vs. Columbus, it is unlikely that he will play. 

 

MANNING & MASON

With Morin making his debut, one defenseman will come out and that will be Brandon Manning, who has an upper-body injury and is considered day to day.

Goaltender Steve Mason was first off the ice at the skate, indicating that he will be the Flyers starter tonight vs. New Jersey. Mason missed Saturday's game due to illness, but traveled to New York to back up Anthony Stolarz. Stolarz will serve as back up to Mason with Michal Neuvirth unavailable.

Mason will be looking for his first ever victory against the Devils, going 0-9-0, in 11 career appearances.

Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. Fans can catch the action on CSN or listen live on 93.3 WMMR or watch online via CSN Stream at csnphilly.com/flyersstream.

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