Morrow, who was just in town for the Penguins developmental camp, was excited to get started with the organization and clearly showed management enough to warrant the signing.
During his time in town he showed a willingness to learn, strong attention to detail, hockey smarts and better than expected skated. Some had questioned that aspect of his game, as he was coming off of a lower body injury that caused him to miss parts of last season.
Here is the official release from the team:
PENGUINS SIGN FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK JOSEPH MORROW
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed their 2011 first-round draft pick, defenseman Joseph Morrow, to a three-year entry-level contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
Morrow, 18, was selected 23rd overall by the Penguins at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in June and attended the Penguins’ annual prospect development camp at CONSOL Energy Center in July.
Morrow has spent the previous three-plus seasons with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL), notching 87 points (16G-71A) in 165 games. Morrow is scheduled to continue his development in junior hockey this season with Portland and the term of his three-year entry-level contract will not begin until he makes his transition to professional hockey.
The 6-foot, 197-pound defenseman led all Portland defensemen this past season with 49 points (9G-40A) and six power-play goals in 60 games. During the postseason he placed second among all WHL blueliners with 20 points (6G-14A) in 21 games while helping the Winterhawks reach the WHL final.
The Edmonton, Alberta native was one of 46 players invited to Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp, scheduled for August 3-7 in Edmonton and Fort McMurray, AB as a candidate for Canada’s entry in the 2012 World Junior Championships to be held Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 5, 2012, in Calgary and Edmonton, AB.