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Getting to Know Brad Morrison

by Matthew Calamia / New York Rangers

Brad Morrison opted not to watch Day 2 of the NHL Draft last weekend, instead he set his alarm clock for when he thought he'd be selected and then waited for the call.

It came and it was from the New York Rangers in the fourth-round, and Morrison couldn't be happier.

"It was an exciting moment. There were so many emotions going through myself, my family and my friends," Morrison told Thursday. "When my agent called and said 'Congrats, you've been drafted by the Rangers,' I was excited. It was one of my favorite teams going into the draft as well. It's a great organization and it sounds cliche and what not, but really it's a top-notch organization and I'm excited to be here."

Morrison, who hails from Prince George, B.C., had a strong sophomore season with his hometown Cougars of the Western Hockey League, scoring 23 goals and 49 points in 67 games. He's a player who capitalizes on opportunities right around the blue paint.

"I'm one of those guys that if I'm going to score a goal, it's going to be around the net," he said. "I've got quick hands in front of the net and a good life on my shot up close. I can make plays and I like using my skating to my advantage.

"I like to be an exciting player to watch and I like to have fun," Morrison added. "There's some stuff to work on, obviously, but I'm getting there."

Despite standing 6-foot, Morrison weighs in at 160 pounds. But don't expect him to be a player who shies away from the physicality. Throughout Thursday's scrimmage sessions, Morrison threw his body around in pursuit of the puck. He didn't back down when matched up against fellow Rangers prospect Troy Donnay, who stands 6-foot-7, 205 pounds.

"I'm not afraid to go into those areas," Morrison said. "I know that, and that's been my reputation for the last few years. I think think to get into those areas in front of the net and the corners, you can't be one of those guys that's afraid to be there. I think a lot of success can come from being that type of player."

Morrison has an impressive network of NHLers around him, including his brother-in-law, Josh Gorges of the Buffalo Sabres, as well as Vernon Fiddler, Jordin Tootoo, Blake Comeau and Nashville Predators star Shea Weber, all of whom he trains with in the offseason.

"It's amazing. We're close with each other. He's proud of me and proud of what I'm doing and my success," Morrison said of Gorges. "He's got himself rooting for me and he helps me out as much as he can.

"They're on my side," Morrison said of the collection of NHLers. "Those are the guys I'm with in the summer, usually, so it's nice having them around."

Morrison said his first week with the Rangers has been fun but difficult, as the coaching staff has put the players through numerous physical tests both on and off the ice. But that's what Morrison expected.

"It's been hard. You don't expect it to be easy," he said. "You come in here and try and make an impression. You get to meet everyone and do all the testing with skating and shooting. You're better at some than others."

With that said, Morrison and his fellow prospects made sure to visit New York City, which was a first for Morrison.

"It's pretty amazing going to the city," he said. "I went a couple nights ago. It was my first time."

The thrill of the weekend has not fully settled on Morrison. Just a day after getting his name called, he was on his way to New York, where he hopes down the line is the place he can call home.

"You kind of realize that it's not just an amazing team; it's a great place to be," Morrison said with a smile. "It's a lot of fun here and it's kind of still not sunk in that I've been picked here because I just got drafted and then I'm here the next day. I'm still kind of letting it sink in, but it's been a lot of fun."

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