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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hot start means Kitchener's Murphy living up to hype

Although he may not possess ideal size, Kitchener Rangers defenseman Ryan Murphy has been said to possess elite offensive skills and instincts from the defense position.

A brilliant skater who can absolutely move in all four directions, but who also has a superb passing touch and a wicked shot for someone under 6-feet, I've been told by more than one scout that Murphy has better offensive upside than Ryan Ellis, one of Nashville's top prospects and a first-round pick in 2009.

Well, Murphy came though for two goals and a helper in his team's 6-4 win Sunday over the Guelph Storm.

That gives him 2-2-4 in just two games in the very early going of the OHL campaign, making Murphy certainly a player to watch, especially if Toronto's first-round pick ends up being in the top-10 next June.

Now, Murphy is listed at 5-11, which really means that he's probably closer to 5-9 or 5-10. Unless he has some kind of neat growth spurt, were the Bruins to pick him he'd be the sixth in a grouping of Boston defense prospects who stand under 6-feet. What it will all come down to if the Bruins are going to consider Murphy with what looks like could take a top-10 pick to secure his rights, then they'll have to be convinced that he's a potential No. 1 or at the very least, a high-end No. 2.

I've gotten mixed reviews on his defense; some think he's fine and just needs to tweak/fine-tune his game while others aren't so charitable. And I'm also told not to hold the fact that he wasn't picked for Canada's 2010 Ivan Hlinka team against him-- that it was a personality conflict with the coach.

In any case, it will be fascinating to see where Murphy's final ranking lands him come June. If he keeps up the offense, it will be hard to deny him a rightful spot in the top-10 and maybe even top-five because with his pure speed, nifty passing and scorching shot, there's s a very good chance that he'll bring that impressive trifecta with him to the next level.

1 comment:

  1. His defence improved as the season went on last year and it looks like he's improved it this year.

    I know it's only been 2 games (and i was at both of them) but it's visible on the ice. In those 2 games, the Rangers have allowed 6 goals and Murphy has not been on the ice for any goals against.

    On the other side of the puck, the Rangers have scored 11 goals in 2 games and Murphy was on the ice for 6 of them. When the Rangers needed him most Sunday, he took control of the game and in less than 5 minutes was involved in 3 goals to get the win.

    Again, i know it's only 2 games, but as much as everyone knows i love Murphy, he's dropped a couple of spots in my rankings not because of his play, but because there are players that i've never seen before that i had never rated. ie Alex Aleardi, Alex Khokhlachev and the play of Gabriel Landeskog so far.