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2011 Draft Prospect Profile #11: Ryan Murphy

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Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images.
Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images.

Position: Defense
Age: 18
Date of Birth: March 31, 1993
Place of Birth: Aurora, Ontario
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 176
Shoots: Right

Murphy, playing for the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL, doesn't play with the size of an Adam Larsson, but what he does have is a tremendous scoring touch, and because of that Central Scouting has him ranked ninth overall heading into the draft. Murphy isn't the standard "stay-at-home defenseman," but he more than makes up for it with his offensive mind, his Power Play work, and his in-zone passing and shooting. He's a good skater, and his junior coach calls him "slippery" and says his vision is "second to none." He will need to work on his overall "defense" in the NHL, and not surprisingly Murphy lists his favorite player as the Caps' Mike Green.

2010/2011 Regular Season Stats:

GP G A PTS +/- PIM
63 26 53
79
+22 36

Scouting Report (NHL.com):

"Ryan's work on the power play is outstanding. He sees the ice very well and is creative, [has] excellent passing ability and a great shot that he gets through to the net. (He's) also an excellent all-round skater. He's got real good mobility. He's a bit of a gambler. He does move the puck well, but he's going to have to concentrate on making good plays."

Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:

Well, while one of the Jackets' biggest problems on defense this past season was allowing way too many scoring chances, it would be hard to look past a defenseman with a coveted right-handed shot who can skate, see the ice, and make plays and score on offense like Murphy can. He can play on the Power Play, make solid in-zone passes, and launch howitzers from the blue line at all times that not only get to the net, but find the back of the net. One would hope you can coach up the on-man defensive ability a bit at the NHL level, and in that respect the comparisons to Mike Green are very real. Yet, when you look at where Columbus wants to go with their blue line, it would be hard to draw up a more prototypical player than Murphy. The only thing he's really lacking is size. The Jackets' Power Play has lagged for three seasons, and adding someone like Murphy to the organization would certainly help to improve that, by bringing in a defenseman who can skate with the puck on the PP, make plays, and launch bombs from the point. Murphy will probably be there when Columbus picks eighth, and depending on who else is on the board you could make a solid case for taking Murphy. 

Ryan Murphy Draft Profile: