MONTREAL, QC. — Effortless stride is a term seldom used when making reference to undrafted players, and yet scouts can’t emphasize enough on how Ryan Murray’s skating is on another level. With smooth pivots, and impressive poise, many scouts have Murray as the best skater eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Murray, born in White City, Saskatchewan, has all the bells and whistles to be an excellent defenseman in the NHL. His primary asset is the aforementioned skating which sets him apart from the rest. He brings a calm demeanor to his game, approaching each shift confidently allowing him able to catch up to most forwards with ease.
Murray is expected to be drafted within the top five this year, and with good reason: he is labeled by many scouts as one of the safe picks. The six-foot one, one hundred a ninety-five pound defenseman, has excellent positioning, and has an uncanny ability for blocking shots. Murray is the type of defender who will keep forwards honest with his sound defensive play as he is adept at clearing lanes and is capable of making a solid play from his own zone.
The Saskatchewan native plays a smart two way game; he is well known for his flawless positional play. Murray has a fantastic first pass, and shows no fear to jump in on the rush. Murray also possesses an elusive slapshot that can catch the opposition off guard. It is the belief of many scouts that his offensive game is both a threat to be reckoned with, but can be underrated.
Ryan was named the youngest captain of the Everett Silvertips of the WHL, and has been nothing short of an inspiration to his teammates.
While Murray plays a smooth smart puck moving style scouts say that he needs to polish his offensive game: it is believed that there remains some untapped potential that could bring him to another level. Murray is not a physical player, but will not intentionally avoid a hit — instead he chooses to play a smart game. Murray’s style has been compared to Scott Niedermayer, and while he is a long way from being close to the Ducks/Devils defenseman, it’s still incredibly high praise.
Murray is arguably the most NHL-ready defenseman in the 2012 Entry Draft, and is going to make a NHL team very happy bringing the type of package usually found in a top pairing defender. He could make the jump to the professional level as soon as next year, and while he carries with him high praise, many scouts believe he will develop into a solid 1B defender that can play big minutes, make excellent defensive plays, and supply his team with good offense. If Murray can improve his point production, he could very well be a top defender in the NHL.