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Strong final season at NCAA D-I Minnesota State leads to Lafayette native Morton signing NHL deal with Flames


After a dominant final season with NCAA Division I Minnesota State, Lafayette native Sam Morton has signed with the NHL’s Calgary Flames.

Morton’s contract will begin with the 2024-25 season. He will be joining the Calgary Wranglers on an amateur tryout for the remainder of the 2023-24 campaign.

“It’s unbelievable,” Morton told “Since you start playing hockey, this is what you dream of, to have a chance to sign an NHL contract. What I do with it, that’s coming next, and I’m just trying to put my best foot forward and provide as much as I can for the organization.

“Talking with the Flames, it just sounded like a really good fit in terms of my game and what they’re looking for to help their organization be successful. It seems like a great organization, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.”

Morton was named the CCHA Player of the Year and CCHA Forward of the Year following a career-best and conference-leading 24 goals along with 10 assists for 34 points in 37 games this season. He registered nine power-play markers which ranked tied for the eighth-most in all of college hockey in 2023-24 and helped Minnesota State reach the semifinals of the Mason Cup.

He’s also a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s best player.

The 24-year-old Minnesota State captain was named the CCHA Forward of the Month in January after posting six goals and three assists for nine points in eight games through the month, helping Minnesota State go 5-1-2 in January.

“It has been a whirlwind of emotions,” said Morton. “Definitely a rollercoaster with our season ending Saturday night, and it’s bittersweet because, obviously, it’s the last college game and we wanted to win the national championship, but things happen, and we keep moving forward.

“It’s definitely an honor to receive individual awards, but at the end of the day, we wanted to win the national championship and that’s what really matters. It’s nice to have that recognition, but at the end of the day, you’re always hungry for more, you want to keep developing and progressing towards the next level.”

Throughout his collegiate career, Morton played in 144 games with Minnesota State and Union, scoring 47 goals and 42 assists for 89 points.

In Colorado, Morton played with the Colorado Thunderbirds and Rocky Mountain RoughRiders.

Photo/Kenzie Schmidt

— Matt Mackinder

(March 23, 2024)

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