© Herald photo by Perry Bergson
Prince Albert Raiders defenceman Josh Morrissey keeps a careful eye on the play as his team met the Red Deer Rebels on Wednesday. He signed with the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
After Impressing scouts in his first taste of NHL training camp and preseason action, Prince Albert Raiders captain Josh Morrissey signed an entry-level deal with the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
Selected by the Jets in the first round, 13th overall, in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Morrissey has patrolled the Raiders blue line for the past three seasons, tallying 27 goals and 63 assists in 146 games with the Raiders.
“It’s definitely a big moment, something I’ve worked very hard for,” Morrissey said. “My family has done a lot for me and spent a lot of money and time, especially my dad throughout my life so far,” Morrissey said of signing the two-way deal with the Jets.
Morrissey got his first NHL minutes this pre-season, logging more than 20 minutes of ice time in an exhibition tilt with the Minnesota Wild.
As team captain, Morrissey leads Raiders defensemen in points, with five in three games this season. He will remain in Prince Albert for the remainder of the season.
Despite a freshly inked NHL contract now in his pocket, it’s business as usual for Morrissey in the WHL, he said.
“It gives me confidence, but at the same time, I just keep working and doing the same things I have been doing,” he said.
Morrissey is the only player on the Raiders roster with a NHL deal. Center Mike Winther, the only other NHL drafted player on the Raiders roster, has yet to sign an entry-level deal.
Winther was selected by the Dallas Stars 54th overall in the second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and got his own taste of NHL training camp earlier this year, a brief audition with other Stars prospects.
Morrissey’s deal with the Jets will go against the team’s salary cap only after Morrissey plays over 10 games in a season. According to a Thursday press release on the Jets website, the deal is worth an average annual value of $1.4 million.