The Quad City Mallards have signed goaltender Adam Morrison and forward Charlie Taft, the Mallards announced today.
Morrison, 24, enjoyed a standout campaign with the South Carolina Stingrays last season. The 6’ 3”, 194-pound, White Rock, British Columbia, native finished tied for third in the ECHL in shutouts (4) while posting a sterling 1.88 goals against average and .928 save percentage along with a 15-5-2 record in 23 games. Morrison also played one American Hockey League game for the Providence Bruins last year.
“Morrison’s numbers speak for themselves,” said Mallards coach and general manager Terry Ruskowski. “We wanted to bring in an experienced goaltender who can work alongside a young goalie and can step in and do a good job. We know Morrison can do the job so we were very happy to get him.”
Morrison rebounded last season after a hip injury limited him to just two games with the Stingrays in 2013-14. As a rookie in 2012-13, Morrison went 7-12-4 in 24 ECHL games with the Stingrays and Utah Grizzlies and turned in a 3.71 goals against average and a .893 save percentage. Morrison got his first taste of professional hockey when he played a single game for Providence late in the 2011-12 season.
Before turning pro, Morrison, who was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft with the eighty-first overall choice, spent four seasons in the Western Hockey League. He went 79-38-10 and recorded a 2.93 goals against average, a .899 save percentage and five shutouts in 136 career junior games with the Saskatoon Blades and Vancouver Giants. After helping Saskatoon to division titles in 2008-09 and 2010-11, Morrison moved from the Blades to the Giants early in the 2011-12 season. He finished his final junior campaign fourth in the WHL in wins and tied for tenth in minutes played (3257) while going 36-17-3 with a 2.82 goals against average, a .899 save percentage and one shutout.
Taft, 23, scored four goals and added four assists in 33 games as a senior at Colorado College last season. The 6’ 1”, 192-pound product of Edina, Minnesota, scored 17 times, picked up 20 assists and totaled 37 points in 120 career collegiate games.
“Taft has good size, plays hard and goes into the areas where it’s hard to play,” said Ruskowski. “We wanted to give him a shot and see what he can do for us because he has upside and works hard so he could turn into a pretty good player.”
Taft arrived at CC after one season of junior hockey. In 2010-11, he scored 17 goals and notched 13 assists for 30 points in 56 games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League.
Taft boasts excellent hockey bloodlines. His father John Taft played in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings after representing the United States at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, and winning NCAA titles with the University of Wisconsin in 1973 and 1977. Charlie Taft’s grandfather Walter Taft played for the University of Minnesota from 1934 to 1937.
The Mallards will begin their nineteenth season- and their second in the ECHL- on the road against the defending champion Allen Americans on Friday, October 16 before returning to the Quad Cities to play their home opener on Friday, October 23 at 7:05 p.m. against the Tulsa Oilers. Mallards 2015-16 season tickets are now available. Season ticket holders enjoy significant savings of the walk-up ticket price and receive a host of exclusive benefits. For more season ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at 309-277-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.