The Komets had already gotten a good deal of help from their informal working agreement with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.
Now more assistance is on the way.
Brad Morrison, considered one of the better young prospects in the Kings organization, will join the Komets before their game Friday at Memorial Coliseum against the Wheeling Nailers.
“He’s a real big prospect. He’s on an NHL contract. He wasn’t playing games to start the season, and they want him down here to play lots of minutes,” Komets coach Ben Boudreau said. “Hopefully he’ll be another wave in the attack.”
A 22-year-old center, Morrison played 50 games last season in the higher-level American Hockey League with the Ontario Reign, totaling 10 goals and 20 points as a rookie.
“He’s relied upon as an offensive player,” Boudreau said. “He’s not a defensive-type first. I wouldn’t even call him a 200-foot guy; he’s an offensive player.”
Morrison is in the second year of a three-year entry-level deal with the Kings, who have also sent goaltender Cole Kehler to Fort Wayne. Kehler stopped 41 of 43 shots in the Komets’ 5-2 season-opening victory over the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday night at the Coliseum.
Forward Mason Bergh and defenseman Max Gottlieb also came to Fort Wayne through the Kings; they are on AHL contracts.
Meanwhile, the Komets’ more formal affiliation with the Vegas Golden Knights has so far yielded only goaltender Dylan Ferguson, who was recalled before the season opener to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves because of an injury in the Knights’ system.
While the Wolves returned Brett McKenzie today, they still have Olivier Galipeau, who had been in Fort Wayne’s training camp.
To make room for McKenzie and Morrison, the Komets have released Connor Sanvido and Ian Mackey. Sanvido will join Evansville of the Southern Professional Hockey League and could be back this season.
Morrison, 6 feet, 170 pounds, totaled 27 goals and 75 points in 74 games his final season of juniors, 2017-18, with the Vancouver Giants and Lethbridge Hurricanes. He added a whopping 16 goals and 37 points in 16 playoff games, when he was the Western Hockey League’s scoring leader and helped the Hurricanes to the semifinals.
Morrison was drafted by the New York Rangers in the fourth round of the 2015 NHL Draft.
His father, Doug, played 23 games in the NHL for the Boston Bruins between 1979 and 1985, totaling seven goals and 10 points. He played against the Komets in the International Hockey League for the Salt Lake Golden Eagles from 1985 to 1987.
His uncle, Mark, played 10 games for the New York Rangers between 1981 and 1984.
He’s also related to longtime NHL goaltender Garth Butcher.