With the 131st pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Arizona Coyotes have selected defenseman Matthew Morden.
Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong opted to add another defenseman to his prospect pool when the team’s name was called in the fifth round, and selected Matthew Morden out of St. Andrew’s College of the CAHS.
Last season, Morden registered eight goals and 35 total points in 41 regular-season games while playing out of the Canadian high school system - producing a further two appearances, both scoreless, for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL.
The 6-foot-5, 203lbs left-shot blueliner earned a call-up to Team Canada for the Under-18s World Junior Championships, featuring in three games as Canada finished fifth in the tournament.
Now, he has a chance at an NHL career after being selected by the Coyotes - who will have an opportunity to watch him closely alongside another one of their top prospects in John Farinacci.
Farinacci will be captain of the Harvard University team for the 2022/23 season, and Morden is already committed to playing his hockey at the collegiate level next season - allowing him plenty of time to develop, while also earning himself a top-quality education at the same time.
With later-round draft picks, the urgency for them to develop is significantly reduced, and seeing Morden succeed in the NCAA will be more than satisfactory for the teams’ development staff moving forward.