The WHL’s Kelowna Rockets have made a huge trade, acquiring the Winnipeg Jets’ 13th overall pick from 2013 draft, defenseman Josh Morrissey, from the Prince Albert Raiders. It is likely that Morrissey, will play on Kelowna’s top defensive pairing with the Caps’ Madison Bowey.
The 19-year-old defenseman Morrissey led all WHL blueliners in points per game last year. His offensive totals took a step back this year, but that is, for the large part, due to playing on a much weaker Prince Albert squad that lost center Leon Draisaitl this past summer.
The scouting reports of Morrissey and Bowey are eerily similar: both are tremendous skaters and have great puck skills on hockey IQ. If they play together, the WHL-leading Rockets may have the most talented D pairing in all of the CHL on their hands.
Bowey’s development may receive a boost as well from playing one of the most talented defensemen in the WHL as he nears the end of his WHL career. That pairing would also receive a lot of ice time in all situations, especially in the playoffs.
The Rockets fell short of making it to the Memorial Cup last year as they fell to the Portland Winterhawks in the conference finals. They didn’t pair their two best defensemen (Bowey and this season’s Calder candidate Damon Severson) together then. Unlike Severson, Morrissey is left-handed, making him an easier match with right-handed Bowey.
Morrissey and Bowey have been paired together in Canada’s WJC camp and are considered locks to make the final roster. It’s also possible that the Rockets’ duo will be the hosts’ top pairing for the tournament that will begin later this month.
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