Josh Morrissey has hit the jackpot, a trade to the top team in the WHL:
BREAKING: The #WHLRockets have acquired D Josh Morrissey and F Gage Quinney from Prince Albert for Austin Glover, Jesse Lees + 2 draft picks— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) December 11, 2014
This is a great move for his development as the Rockets were Memorial Cup contenders before the trade. The development of the smooth skating defenceman will take a huge boost, playing a large role on a highly skilled team. The Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton had high praise for the Jets prospect:
"We are getting arguably the best defenceman in the WHL in Josh Morrissey,"
Many had Morrissey as a lock for the Winnipeg Jets opening night roster, but Kevin Cheveldayoff instead chose to send Morrissey back to the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL. The Calgary native is a victim of the junior eligibility rule, which states if a player is eligible to play in juniors, he cannot play in the AHL. Too young to play in St. Johns, but not ripe enough to play in the big league, the Winnipeg Jets manager decided to play it safe with his top prospect.
In a twist of fate, the Canadian top defensive pair is likely to feature two of the best rearguards in the WHL - and now team mates - Madison Bowey and Josh Morrissey. No doubt Rockets fans will be glued to the World Juniors to see how these two gel. Bowey has played with mainly defensive younger partners, and Morrissey has played for years on a weaker Prince Albert Raiders team. They may be a power play duo that is impossible to stop. It is likely we see a production increase and huge minutes out of both players when they return to Kelowna in early January, hopefully bringing a small chunk of gold with them.
Playoffs in the AHL and NHL
When the Rockets are eliminated from the playoffs - or win the Memorial Cup - Josh is free to join either pro team in their respective playoffs. This is doubtful to happen, the Rockets are likely to make a very deep playoff run. Morrissey may be the last piece of Winnipeg Jets property to be putting on skates as the 14/15 hockey season rolls to a close.
A family connection
A quick glance at the Rockets roster brings up a familiar name: Jake Morrissey. No doubt the younger brother of Josh is unlikely to divulge how many goals the older brother has rifled past him playing shinny and street hockey over the years.