Hurricanes

Canes draftee Murphy ready to work

Posted June 29, 2011
Updated June 30, 2011

— Defenseman Ryan Murphy had a once-in-a-lifetime experience when he was drafted No. 12 overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2011 NHL player entry draft last week.

“It was weird because Carolina went up and was about to announce their pick, and my mom leaned over and said 'Ryan, I think this is your team,' and I was kinda in shock for a little,” Murphy told The Insiders’ Mike Maniscalco Wednesday. “It was a pretty cool feeling. The rest of it is kinda blurry 'cause I was really excited.”

It’s no secret the Canes were looking for defense with their draft selections and the 18-year-old of the Kitchener Rangers fits that bill.

Last season Murphy ranked second among all Ontario Hockey League defensemen with 79 points (26g, 53a) in 63 regular-sesaon games.

After being drafted, the whirlwind of media interviews and photographs didn’t stop for the new Hurricane, in fact he said, it got worse.

“I went downstairs, met with the media, did some photo shoots and then went upstairs and met with the Hurricanes management,” Murphy said.

Murphy shook hands with Jim Rutherford, the Hurricanes president and general manager who welcomed the defenseman to the organization and said they were happy to have him and looking forward to camp.

And so is the rookie.

“No vacation for me," Murphy said. "I’m going to do whatever I can to be in the line-up for next year.

“Everything is going by so fast so, I’m sure from August to September its going to go by just as fast, but come training camp, I’m going to be ready.”

Looking back on his previous season, Murphy attributed a lot of his success to having more confidence.

“I started shooting in the playoffs [during the 2009-10 season] and the points started coming, and that carried over to the next year,” Murphy said. “I was more comfortable my second year than my first year. The guys welcomed me a bit more.”

Good thing for the Hurricanes, Murphy already is pretty comfortable with a former Kitchener teammate, Carolina's NHL rookie of the year Jeff Skinner.

“Jeff’s going to make it a lot easier,” Murphy said. “He’s a guy I’m comfortable around and during the season we did keep in touch. Having Jeff there to give me pointers and help me get to the next level is definitely going to be huge.”

Murphy knows he’s a smaller defenseman but that just makes him want to work harder to find the back of the net.

“When I’m in the moment, I’m not sure what I’m looking for,” Murphy said, “If I see a guy open, I’m going to pass to him, but if I have the shot I’ll take it.”

And he even prefers to take on another challenge, one where the Hurricanes could use some help.

“I like the pressure moments, I like controlling things so I guess the power play suits me well,” and Murphy added, “I’m going to the net.”

Is it possible that this Kitchener product will have the same success as the last did for the Hurricanes?

“[Skinner] had an unbelievable season last year, and it’s going to be hard to follow in his footsteps those are big shoes to fill, but I’m going to do my best,” said Murphy. “And hopefully at the end of the year I’m happy with myself.”

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  • StunGunn Sep 17, 9:56 a.m.

    Time will tell whether the Canes made the right choice. Who thought Skinner would turn out like he did - not comparing the two skill-wise, but saying right now no one knows for sure how Murphy will work out. I think signing a scoring defenseman is a good idea. I hope he bulks up from his current 175 LBS though.

  • mike28 Jun 30, 10:08 a.m.

    I wish Murphy well and, as a Canes fan, I hope that he finds success with the team. All these comparisons to Skinner is ridiculous. The only things they have in common is that they played on the same team for a little while. At 175lbs, this kid is going to be pushed around and eaten up in the NHL. At 195lbs, Skinner got pushed around, but he is an incredible skater which is why he had so much success. Good luck to Murphy, but I really hope the Canes didn't make a big mistake drafting him...

  • wlcat609 Jun 30, 9:38 a.m.

    When Pitkanen goes, Ryan will be there to replace him - except smaller in stature. NAd pity the poor Canes gaolies....whomever. Some things NEVER CHANGE in this organization!

  • Jakethesnake Jun 30, 8:37 a.m.

    I don't know. seems like the last thing the canes need is a 175lb defenseman who concentrates more on scoring than banging bodies. we already have that with pitkanen and Corvo. we need a couple more gleasons. I'll give him a chance though. Skinner weighs 195 and got banged around like a ragdoll. how is a 175lb kid gonna be an nhl defenseman?

  • caniacman Jun 30, 8:30 a.m.

    This kid could be the steal of the draft, he could be the Cam Fowler of this years draft. I think another year of seasoning at Charlotte or back in juniors could do him good, but he easily could make the team right out of the gate. With him and Justin Faulk in the mix could be fun to watch the next few years.

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