The Pittsburgh Penguins selected defenseman Joseph Morrow
from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL) with their first selection (23rd overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft Friday night in St. Paul, MN.
Morrow, 18, was ranked No. 12 overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Morrow led all Portland defensemen this past season with 49 points (9G-40A) and six power-play goals in 60 games. During the postseason he placed second among all WHL blueliners with 20 points (6G-14A) in 21 games while helping the Winterhawks reach the WHL final.
Morrow, who stands 6-foot, 197 pounds, has spent the previous three-plus seasons with Portland, notching 87 points (16G-71A) in 165 games.
Last week, Morrow was one of 46 players invited to Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp, scheduled for August 3-7 in Edmonton and Fort McMurray, AB as a candidate for Canada’s entry in the 2012 World Junior Championships to be held Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 5, 2012, in Calgary and Edmonton, AB.
The Edmonton, Alberta native comes from a strong hockey lineage. Morrow’s father, Dave, was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1977 NHL Entry Draft and played for the Indianapolis Racers of the now-defunct World Hockey Association. His brother, Josh, was drafted 203rd overall by the Nashville Predators in 2002 when current Penguins’ general manager Ray Shero was the assistant GM.