It has been 15 years since Chris Morehouse donned the Amherst Ramblers uniform, but he still cherishes his moments playing at the Amherst Stadium before going on to bigger things.
“Amherst will always be special to me,” said the 32-year-old former star with the Ramblers and later the Moncton Wildcats. “I was talking to my family about that just recently, being able to go into junior hockey in my hometown. I learned a lot from that group and guys like Ed O’Brien helped me along the way.”
Morehouse, drafted by the Ramblers prior to the 2004-05 season, would score 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 points in his rookie season before enjoying a three-year career with the QMJHL’s Wildcats that included a trip to the Memorial Cup, three years of CIS hockey with Saint Mary’s and St. Thomas and stints in the ECHL in Alaska, Cincinnati and Greenville and Central Hockey League with Tulsa.
Now, after seven seasons working as a scout in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, Morehouse was recently hired as director of North American scouting with the New York Rangers.
“It popped up just after the draft and I felt it was a really good opportunity to continue scouting, but play a bigger role in it,” Morehouse said. “It was hard to pass up the opportunity.”
Morehouse, who lives near Detroit with his wife and two young boys, was hired by the Blue Jackets in 2012 as an amateur scout and was an amateur scout and professional scout over four seasons before being named the assistant director of amateur scouting in 2016.
He’s proud of what was accomplished in Columbus and believes the skills he picked up there will help him in one of the continent’s biggest hockey markets.
“It was great to work with Jarmo (Kekalainen), Bill Zito, Josh Flynn and of course John (Tortorella). They allowed me to grow and to work with head scout Ville Siren for seven years ago was special. I learned a lot from him,” Morehouse said. “I am able to take what I’ve learned and bring over some new things to another organization that’s already done a good job is exciting.”
Morehouse is excited to be joining the Rangers, who have one of the strongest minor league systems in place. He admitted it will be different from the Blue Jackets that had such a strong draft and development program that took great pride in its draft success. New York, he said, has done that and is starting to see the fruits of that work at the NHL level with several young players.
“It’s nice to be able to work with an original six team. The group that’s there today is working hard to get back to where it needs to be and I’m looking forward to going there and learning from the people there and taking some of the things I learned with Columbus,” he said.
Morehouse has been busy since taking his new job, attending the Rangers rookie camp earlier this summer as well as an Under-20 showcase in Michigan and the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In his new position he’ll be doing much of the same work he was doing in Columbus and while he’s the director of North American scouting he will still log considerable air miles travelling to Europe several times a year and working with area scouts to help prepare lists for the NHL draft.
“My job will be to help the Rangers draft the best that I can, similar to what I did in Columbus,” he said. “Hopefully I can help bring some success to the team.”