By Dhiren Mahiban /
It appears the Vancouver Giants have finally solved their goaltending conundrum, handing the reins to 20-year-old, Surrey, B.C.-native Adam Morrison.
The Philadelphia Flyers 2009 third-round selection (81st overall) was acquired in a trade with Saskatoon on Oct. 4.
In exchange, the Giants sent defenceman Zach Hodder along with forward Michael Burns and a fourth round bantam pick to the Blades.
Hodder had left the team prior to the start of the season to await a trade.
“He adds confidence to our group,” said head coach Don Hay. “Adam is a very composed young man and he’s an experienced goaltender.
“Any time you can add a player that settle things down, he doesn’t give up second shots, there’s not a lot of scrambles, we’re not taking as many penalties, our penalty killing is better – he adds a lot, plus he stops the puck so he really gives our team a chance to win.”
Vancouver also picked up 16-year-old forward Levi Bews in the deal.
Morrison was 1-1-0 with the Blades while posting an .866 save percentage and a 4.50 goals-against average. He is 2-0-1 with a .905 save percentage and a 2.21 goals-against average since the deal.
The Giants started the season with Brendan Jensen as their number one and Jackson Whistle backing-up. The decision was made after the Giants were unable to bring Jonathan Iilahti, a Vancouver Canucks prospect, over from Finland.
Jensen has been assigned to the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Morrison grew up going to Giants games as a kid and says the organization is a big reason he’s in the position he currently finds himself in.
“It’s pretty special,” he said after Monday’s 5-1 win over the Victoria Royals. “This is the first Western Hockey League team that turned me on to the league – it’s always been a dream of mine to play here. Now that I’m actually doing it is pretty amazing.
“It’s a pretty awesome opportunity for myself and to be back home, to play in front of friends and family is really a treat.”
He didn’t become a full-time goaltender till he was in second year Peewee; as a result, his game continues to involve – part of that includes being more active with playing the puck.
“Since last year, I’ve really made it a huge part of my game,” he said. “I think nowadays if you have a goaltender who can handle the puck it really takes a lot of pressure off your defencemen and that’s all I’m really trying to do.”
Morrison’s next goal is to play well enough backstopping the Giants to earn that elusive first professional contract.