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Monday, September 20, 2010

Connor Murphy: A guy you should know

Defenseman Connor Murphy is a rising star in the 2011 draft class, and if his last name rings a bell with Bruins fans, it should-- he's the son of former Boston defenseman and current Florida Panthers assistant coach Gord Murphy.

Murphy has burst onto the scene for the 2010-11 campaign after opening up a lot of eyes at the Ivan Hlinka tournament last month. He scored a huge overtime goal over Sweden with a booming shot less than a minute into the extra session, and after an injury-riddled '09-10 campaign, is really coming on strong as a two-way defenseman with size and potential.

He's with the U.S. NTDP this year after coming out of the Columbus Blue Jackets AAA midget program in Ohio, and he's got the size and mobility that NHL teams covet. The Bruins who are known for their gravitation toward bloodlines picks, know all about papa Gord, who never really got a chance to settle into a role in Boston after being a part of the trade that sent popular (oh and did I mention NHLPA player rep?) Garry Galley and Wes Walz to Philadelphia during the 1991-92 season. By June, 1993, Murphy was gone to Dallas along with Andy Moog for Jon Casey, one of Harry Sinden's worst trades in his long and sometimes turbulent tenure as GM and President. Although Murphy would return to Boston in 2002 for a few games at the tail end of his career, his son is said to have better offensive potential than his old man.

His long limbs allow him to generate a powerful stride and effective reach, and he can really put some mustard on his shot. He's raw, but brings some intriguing upside and will be on the "Derek Forbort watch" this season as a defenseman with the kind of size and offensive ability that should see his stock rise dramatically, even if he is a bit raw. He's a bit like his dad in that he's got that nice size (6-3, 195), but tends to use his stick and play a less snarly, physical style as opposed to leveraging the body and using his strength to separate the puck from opponents. If he were more of a hitter, then he'd be much more touted than he is right now.

Does he have No. 1 chops in the NHL? That's a question he'll have the whole year to make a case for, but as we prepare to go full bore into the start of the season, Murphy is definitely a guy you should know!

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