Team: Everett Silvertips
Date of Birth: September 27, 1993
Place of Birth: White City, Saskatchewan
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 200
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats:
2011-2012 WHL Playoff Stats:
Despite an ankle injury hurting him earlier in the season, Ryan Murray made a move from the #3 to #2 North American skater in Central Scouting's final rankings. He leads a crop of very good defensemen in this year's draft, and his rise and rankings put him in the discussion for the top pick since Edmonton badly needs defense. He is considered a puck-mover, but he also plays solid defense as well.
He was the Captain of the Everett Silvertips this year, and while his numbers aren't eye-popping, the consensus is that Murray is one of those rare players who does everything well without you really noticing it. He skates well, his hockey sense is good, his defensive positioning is sound, and he's strong. He has good size (6'0", 200 lbs) that should develop as he matures, and can make plays and score when needed. He has a strong, heavy shot from the point. Even though he missed a big chunk of the season, he still led all of Everett's defensemen in points this past season.
Murray may not draw the praise and flash of Nail Yakupov, but he may be one of those rare players that comes in immediately and contributes at a high level for many, many years. Murray could be one of those guys that you just "set it and forget it," where you can just pencil him into the lineup every night.
I think Murray is more like a [Scott] Niedermayer; he just does everything under the radar and so smooth you hardly notice it. His skating is probably the best in the [WHL], but you don't really notice that so much because you almost take it for granted he's been there for three years. He never gets out of position and I've never seen him lose a one-on-one battle. He's always, defensively, in the right spots. He just does everything so seamlessly that he reminds me of Niedermayer only because he does everything so well at such a high level and after a while, you don't even notice it.
I think Murray brings something to the game ... he brings a steadiness to the game to the point that you know he'll play 15 years in the League without any problem.
Murray reminds me a little bit (of) Ray Bourque. He has that Ray Bourque look to me, real composed and strong. He skates a lot like him, too. When I first saw him, I was trying to pinpoint who he reminded me of and then it hit me -- Bourque.
After missing nearly two months of the WHL season due to a high ankle sprain and a generally forgettable WJC tournament, Murray will finish out the season with the last-place Everett Silvertips, who will look to their captain to lead their building team towards a brighter future. Murray is a great skater with excellent lateral movement, and sees the game well as plays develop around him. He is a very capable playmaker and can effectively jump into or lead the rush up the ice. With a heavy shot from the point, it certainly appears that Ryan Murray has all of the tangibles that NHL teams love to build around on their blueline. It will be important for Murray to forget some of his struggles this year, and continue to build towards what should be a very good professional career.
Why He'd Be A Good Fit In Columbus:
Well, even though this is the Jackets' best blue-line corps in, well, ever, how could you turn your nose up at a Scott Niedermayer clone? Murray brings all the tools and potential to be a high-level two-way defenseman. The Jackets now have some good defensemen, but they don't have that one sure-fire top-pairing guy that can be counted on to play sounds defense against another team's top line while also contributing offensively. Murray could be that kind of player, and he could be that kind of player for a long, long time.
Beyond that, Murray might allow for the Jackets to move a player like Marc Methot for other assets or picks, and that would make the team better in the long run. That's not a slight to Methot; he's a tradable asset. And, bringing in a big-bodied left-handed shut-down guy who can contribute offensively would make losing Methot more easily stomached.
Murray In Action: