By Brendan McCarthy | The Telegram
He’s not predicting when, where or how much, but St. John’s IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge says Josh Morrissey and Eric Comrie, “will get the opportunity to play” now that the two teenagers have reported to the American Hockey League team.
Morrissey, a 19-year-old defenceman, and Comrie, an 18-year-old goaltender, were the Winnipeg Jets’ first- and second-round picks, respectively, in the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft, and are viewed as being among the top prospects in all of major junior hockey.
The IceCaps (41-22-5) are fairly close to clinching a playoff berth for the Calder Cup playoffs beginning later this month, but are also looking to maintain at least a top-four finish in the AHL’ s Eastern Conference so as to gain home-ice advantage in the first round of the postseason.
However, when asked how the IceCaps’ position in the standings might affect his use of Morrissey and Comrie, McCambridge would not be pinned down. He also noted there were other factors to be considered
“I can’t commit to that with how its going to play out,” he said. “For one thing, you never really know how what your roster’s going to look like.
“A couple a days ago, we were looking at having three goalies. Now, it’s two. We had eight defenceman on our last road trip and we came back with six,” said McCambridge referring to the recent recalls of goalie Michael Hutchinson and defencemen Ben Chiarot to the Jets,
“But, from my point of view, we’ve added two really strong players to our roster. They’re a first-round pick and a second-round pick, so they obviously are high-quality players and they will get the opportunity to play.”
The Jets, IceCaps and McCambridge do have a history of ensuring top prospects arriving from junior at this time of year see considerable playing time — Mark Scheifele appeared in 10 playoff games for St. John’s in 2012, while fellow forward Adam Lowry got into nine regular-season contests last spring.