Jun 17, 2011

Draft: Countdown #8 - Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy

Position: Defenceman
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 165 lbs
Shoots: R
DOB: March 31st, 1993
Nationality: Canadian
2010-2011 Team: Kitchener Rangers
League: OHL
Stats: 63 GP - 26 G - 53A - 79P - 36 PIM
Playoffs: 7 GP - 2 G - 9 A - 11P - 8 PIM
Canada WJC U-18 - 7 GP - 4 G - 9 A - 13P - 2 PIM

AT: Don't be scared by the jersey, it's just Kitchener! Murphy probably stands as the 2nd most offensively gifted played in this draft behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He's got an absolute howitzer (I think of the EA NHL series when I say that) of a shot, is one of the most creative passers on the ice and is simply a dynamic talent that anyone seeking an offensive d-man should definitely not pass up on. Don Cherry predicted that he would go first overall in this draft. While I think most of us know that's unlikely at this point, I can see Murphy going anywhere from 3-8. An offensive powerhouse, Murphy could be what any team takes a chance on. However, Murphy is constantly criticized for his defensive capability. While he improved his plus/minus to a +22 this year and was noted for making defensive strides, just the notion will scare off some teams. He absolutely needs to bulk up as well. His size already limits him, but when he's going up against NHL caliber players, he's going to look like a shrimp.

I don't believe Murphy is who the Islanders should be going for. We'll most likely have Streit for the rest of his career and he (when healthy) is putting up 50-60 points a year. We have Calvin De Haan in the mix who seems to be making the right steps towards becoming an offensive D-man. Hamonic and MacDonald both showed huge jumps in their offensive capabilities. While I feel whoever drafts Murphy is going to hit a home run and will find themselves a 60-70 point player, I don't feel that he is the right fit for the Islanders right now.

CH: The term "BPA" comes to mind when you talk about Murphy. Like Alex said, Murphy is probably the second-most talented player in this draft behind Nugent-Hopkins. If this draft is going to be full of top-6/top-4 players, but no superstars, would you want to take a swing for a homerun or settle for a double? That's going to be the question that Snow is forced to answer.

People have talked about Murphy's size as a detriment, but if he is as offensively talented as he is said to be, it won't be an issue. One great thing about Murphy is that he has emphasized working on the defensive aspect of his game. He is going to have to if he is going to be a true top-4 defenseman. That said, he is not a Marc-Andre Bergeron, who has a wicked slap shot and nothing else. Murphy is a true powerplay quarterback - a great passer, a great shot, and speed. His defense will get there if he works at it.

Murphy was brought onto Long Island this past week. He is clearly on the Isles radar, but time will tell whether it's legitimate or just a smoke screen. If the Islanders take him, I think it would be a worthy selection. He is not my first choice, but he is full of talent, which is what you need when you pick in the top 5. We'll see if Garth wants to swing for the fences.

Most likely to be drafted: 3-8

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