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Top 25 Under 25: Number 5 Josh Morrissey

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How did the young defenceman’s first year in the NHL impact his ranking?

Winnipeg Jets v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Josh Morrissey was a revelation for the Winnipeg Jets this year. When Jacob Trouba was without a contract at the beginning of the season, it was Morrissey who stepped up and filled in the gap until Trouba was back in uniform and playing like his old self. Morrissey’s ability to play as they Jets needed him too after a rough first season of professional hockey saved them early on and will help them bridge the gap on the defence as the old guard ages.

Morrissey struggled a bit when he first turned professional, but that clearly changed after he adjusted to playing against men and was able to adapt his training to fix his weaknesses. If he continues on his current trajectory, he will be one of the Jets top defencemen in a season or two.

Tim: Josh Morrissey has always been a highly ranked prospect. His four direction mobility is high end and he thinks the game even better than he skates it. That said, I don't think many banked on him playing at a top pair level as a rookie. What's next for Morrissey? Hopefully some more top pair play and further development of his offensive game. Morrissey has the instincts to produce in the NHL, but the precious offensive minutes will be hard to come by with Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers and Jacob Trouba ahead of him in the pecking order.

Brian: Many had given up on Josh Morrissey before the season started, but quickly had their tunes changed. Morrissey busted the door down on his way in, playing like he was a ten year vet, and being the best all around defenseman throughout Jacob Trouba's holdout. There's only one way to go this upcoming season. Josh's development this next season might actually be the most exciting to watch.

Andy: Morrissey was the bright light for the Jets last year. His steady presence on the blue line was welcomed when Trouba was a hold out. Playing on his offside, Morrissey found himelf playing with Buff, then teaming with the returning Trouba. Morrissey looks like he's been playing NHL hockey for years. I also like his grit, as he stood up for teammates and himself against much bigger foes during the season.