Born: June 28, 1989
Weight: 181 lbs.
Hometown: Meadow Lake, Sask.
2008-2009 team: Red Deer Rebels — WHL
Draft: Free agent
Player info: Cullen Morin has been a reliable rearguard since arriving in Red Deer during the 2006-07 season, via a trade with the Moose Jaw Warriors. Due to injury, he was unable to participate in the Rebels’ only playoff series two years ago — a seven-game set with the eventual WHL champion Medicine Hat Tigers.
Morin says he wouldn’t trade places with most WHL players.
“Every since I’ve been here I’ve been treated awesome,” said Morin during the 2007-2008 season. “It’s a first-class organization. We’re not doing as well as we’d like as a team, but we’re going to get it turned around this year heading into next season.”
Morin was the Rebels’ top-scoring defenceman during the 2007-08 season with three goals and 30 points, has a long-term goal of playing for pay.
“I’d love to play for a pro team, either in North America or Europe,” he said. “Hopefully I can have a good finish to this season and then have a strong season as a 20-year-old and get a couple of (professional) tryouts.”
Rebels head coach Jesse Wallin appreciates Morin’s maturity and his ability to perform at a high level most nights.
“Cullen been a rock back there for us,” said Wallin. “He’s really taken his game to another level. He’s played a very structured game, he’s been good defensively and solid positionally. He’s kept his game simple by making a good first pass and he’s quietly put up some pretty decent numbers. He seems to find his way onto the scoresheet just by moving the puck up the ice and getting point shots through to the net.”
An assistant captain, Morin has displayed admirable leadership skills, Wallin noted.
“He’s very mature and businesslike in his approach. He works hard both on and off the ice,” said the Rebels bench boss.
“He’s zero maintenance. He just comes to the rink and does his thing, you don’t have to worry about him. He’s a leader and one of the players who everyone in our dressing room looks up to and admires.”
While he doesn’t possess intimidating size at five-foot-11 and 175 pounds, the product of Meadow Lake, Sask., does not shy away from physical contact.
“There are lots of times when he’s going back for a puck that he has a much bigger forechecker bearing down on him,” said Wallin. “But he never bails out. He’s always willing to take a hit to make a play. That’s something that is contagious. Guys look up to and admire that kind of leadership.”