When the Pittsburgh Penguins made Joe Morrow of the Portland Winterhawks their first pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, they acquired a mature young man with tremendous upside.
Morrow, who will celebrate his 19th birthday on Dec. 9, has since been signed by the Pens. The Sherwood Park, Alberta native had a stellar rookie and main camp with the Penguins, nearly cracking the team’s roster. However, given the opportunities for Morrow to further develop and thrive in a leadership role back in Portland, the Pens chose to ship him back to the WHL.
Hockey’s Future is pleased to present the first installment of what should be an interesting series on the East Coast Selects program. Travis Howe, one of the co-founders of this organization, will be providing his observations and experiences of this fast-rising developmental program on a monthly basis.
The East Coast Selects (ECS) Hockey Program was formed in 2003 with a simple goal- to provide elite players from all over North America an opportunity to compete against, and play with, other top players from around the world.
On January 1st, 2003, 65 players (born ’89) were invited to a one-day tryout in Voorhees, New Jersey. Originally, we were just building a team to enter the Stockholm Youth Trophy in Stockholm, Sweden. Surprisingly, players from all over the eastern U.S. and Canada traveled hundreds of miles to New Jersey to tryout on New Year’s Day. Former NHL players Ulf and Kjell Samuelsson (no relation) chaired the Evaluation Committee. It was very important to us to have a committee that had never seen any of these kids play before so as to ensure a fair and unbiased tryout.
After a successful and exciting trip to Scandinavia, we decided to grow our program and become more of a full spring/summer program. This past year, we held tryouts for the ’90 age group and completed another successful trip to Sweden. Our format for the 2005 season has changed into an “invitation only” selection.
In 2004, the East Coast Selects competed in a total of eight tournaments and fielded teams at the ’89, Read more»