Video: 2012 NHL Combine – Ryan Murray, Everett Silvertips

By Ken McKenna
Ryan Murray - Everett Silvertips

Photo: Despite an injury that caused him to miss some regular season games, defenseman Ryan Murray enters the 2012 NHL Draft as the top defensive prospect (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

 

If you are looking for a prospect from the 2012 NHL Draft that is the most NHL-ready, you would probably have to look no further than top defensive prospect Ryan Murray of the WHL's Everett Silvertips.

The steady Murray has a mix of poise, character, and ability that is rarely found in a player who is just 18 years of age.  He captained the Silvertips' squad this season, earned a bronze medal with Canada at the 2012 Under-20 World Junior Championship, and competed for his country against players mostly several years his senior at the 2012 World Championship.  Along the way, Murray did little to reverse the thinking that he is the top defensive prospect in this draft.

Now that his season is officially ended, the questions that remain unanswered are where Murray will be chosen in the draft order and by whom.  The accepted wisdom is that Nail Yakupov will go first overall and that Murray will follow at number two.  But the team holding the first pick, the Edmonton Oilers, have a stable of good, young offensive talent in hand already, so selecting Yakupov may seem redundant.  But the Oilers could certainly use a defensive prospect of Murray's caliber, and the team's President of Hockey Operations, Kevin Lowe, as well as the team's GM and scouts, have had a good look at Murray's ability from his time at both the WJC and World Championship.

Murray wasn't able to shed much light on his future NHL home, but he did talk to the media following his testing at the 2012 NHL Combine, a session that is featured in this HF video.