New Firebird has high IQ

Randy Russon
January 2, 2019

Potential prime-time pivot Cody Morgan is getting another shot at putting his supreme skill set to use after being acquired by the Flint Firebirds from the Windsor Spitfires in a New Year’s Day deal.

Originally a first-round pick, 12th overall, by the Kingston Frontenacs at the 2017 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft, Flint obtained Morgan from Windsor for two future draft picks — a second-rounder in 2020 and a fourth-rounder in 2021.

Windsor had previously acquired Morgan — along with four second-round draft picks and a third — from Kingston just prior to the 2018 OHL trade deadline in a blockbuster deal that sent left winger Gabriel Vilardi and defenseman Sean Day to the Frontenacs from the Spitfires.

In trading Morgan to Flint a year to the day after obtaining him, Windsor general manager Warren Rychel said the 2001 birth year center will have a better chance to develop with the Firebirds.

“I really like Cody but it just didn’t work out for him with us,” Rychel told the Windsor Star. “He’ll get to play more (in Flint) and our top two lines were kind of set.

“He’s a real smart player but he never got to the point where he put pucks in the net and got confident. But he has a high hockey IQ and a great skill set,” Rychel added in his assessment of Morgan.

Morgan showed more scoring potential as a rookie in 2017-2018 than he has as a second-year skater in the OHL.

After totaling 10 goals, 11 assists, 21 points in 63 games in a rookie campaign split between Kingston and Windsor, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Morgan was limited to 2 goals, 7 assists, 9 points in 33 outings with the Spitfires this season.

The youngster is welcoming of the relocation from Windsor to Flint, where the Firebirds are in last place overall in the 20-team OHL.

“I think a change of scenery will be good for me,” Morgan relayed. “It’s tough leaving a great bunch of guys (in Windsor) though. But it’s a business and you have to do what you have to do. Windsor’s a world-class organization but I’m very happy to come to an up-and-coming organization like Flint.”

Meanwhile, Firebirds general manager Barclay Branch noted that Morgan has a good hockey history.

“Cody has proven that he is a strong competitor at all levels,” said Branch. “With us he will get the opportunity he needs to flourish into a regular contributor.”

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