Bears Add Depth in the Middle
Jason Morgan’s pro career began back in 1996-97. He was a 20-year-old kid center then, fresh from three seasons of junior hockey in the OHL and one summer past being the fifth-round (118th overall) choice of the Los Angeles Kings in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. Morgan spent most of that season with Phoenix of the old IHL, but did get the first of several NHL cups of coffee, this one with the Kings. He also spent a handful of games and the playoffs with the ECHL’s Mississippi Ice Dogs, then coached by one Bruce Boudreau.
Morgan and Boudreau’s career paths have diverged over the last decade, but the road brings them back together in 2007-08. The Hershey Bears have inked Morgan to a deal for the upcoming season, reuniting him with one of his many former pro coaches.
During his decade-plus as a pro, Morgan has been one of those guys who helps keep Rand McNally in business. He has toiled in 16 different cities during his pro career, playing a total of 726 regular season games in four different leagues. He has appeared in 44 NHL games with Los Angeles, Calgary, Nashville, Chicago and Minnesota.
Along the way, Morgan has been a minor league teammate of NHL luminaries such as Daniel Briere, Shane Doan, Olli Jokinen and Washington’s own Chris Clark. Before he turned pro, Morgan’s junior hockey teammates included current Caps winger Matt Bradley and South Carolina Stingrays captain Cail MacLean.
Morgan’s best AHL season came in 2002-03 when he totaled 13 goals and 53 points for the Saint John Flames. The assist and point totals are both single-season career highs. He netted 17 goals for Saint John in 2001-02, his single-season best in that department.
Morgan spent most of the 2006-07 season with the AHL’s Houston Aeros, registering a dozen goals, 26 points and 73 penalty minutes in 57 games. He also skated in four contests with the NHL’s Wild, picking up four penalty minutes in the process.
Morgan scored the first of his two NHL goals with the Kings in 1997-98, on Mar. 10, 1998 in Phoenix to be exact.