Hurricanes defensive prospect ready for NHL

Posted July 11, 2013

Ryan Murphy, the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2011 12th overall draft pick, said he is excited for a third run at the team’s Development and Skills camp July 16-20 at PNC Arena. The development camp will be open to the public with a game and skills competition to wrap up the gathering July 20.

“I’m extremely excited,” Murphy said while joining Mike and Mark on The World’s Strongest Morning Show on 620 The Buzz Thursday morning. “It seems like yesterday I was just drafted to Carolina. It was a great day, and since then I’ve been working hard trying to make that jump to the next level. My first year as an 18-year-old going into your first camp, you’re nervous. You’re nervous being around all the older guys and all the guys that you used to watch on television.”

Murphy has played for Team Canada in the 2013 IIHF World U20 Championship, the OHL Kitchener Rangers, the AHL Charlotte Checkers and, in a four-game stint, with the Hurricanes.

“My second camp, I was a little more comfortable, and coming into this year I have a couple games under my belt,” Murphy said. “I’m confident, and I feel comfortable around the guys, so I’m going to hope for the best.”

In his four-game NHL opportunity in February 2013, Murphy recorded seven shots, two penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -4.

“I think it was huge (playing for the Hurricanes),” said Murphy. “It makes me a little bit more comfortable in the dressing room, and it gives me a taste of what the pros are like. It was a bit of shock to me when I got the call to come up and play a few games, but it was definitely a moment I’ll never forget.”

The 5-foot-11, 20-year-old defenseman mentioned that he still feels like a rookie because the pros play at a faster. Murphy was often paired with veteran defenseman Jay Harrison, and he said learning small adjustments, such as positioning, impacted him in a big way.

General Manager Jim Rutherford added veteran defensemen Andrej Sekera and Mike Komisarek this offseason to add depth to the team’s biggest weakness. Murphy will be given the opportunity to make the roster after spending two years developing his skills.

“Obviously in the back of my head I’m putting lines together, putting defense pairings together, figuring out where I fit in,” Murphy said. “After everything, you just got to think to yourself, am I ready for the next level and am I going to be an impact player in my first year? I don’t just want to be a guy putting on a jersey, I want to go in there and help the team win every night.”

Murphy has been regarded as an offensive-minded defenseman. In the 2010-11 season with the Kitchener Rangers, he recorded 26 goals, 53 assists and a plus/minus of 22 in 63 regular season games. In the 2011-12 season with the Rangers, he recorded 11 goals, 43 assists and a plus/minus of 14 in 49 regular season games.

“My whole life I was labeled as a defensive liability, but I’ve done well for myself,” said Murphy. “My defensive game has come a long way since my first time in the league. I have no lack of confidence in the defensive zone.”

Hurricanes Summerfest festivities will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. and are free of charge including parking and admission. Events include an autograph session with the camp’s attendees, hockey games, inflatables, giveaways and a State of the Hurricanes discussion hosted by television play-by-play announcer John Forslund.

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  • Cragsdale Jul 11, 2013

    he most likely won't make the starting lineup to begin this season. great kid, but based on the stories I've read, and comments made by the coaches and mngmt, this team is finally looking for stay-at-home defense-men, which makes this fan happy.

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