NHL Draft 2012 Prospects: #3 Ryan Murray

EDMONTON, CANADA - DECEMBER 31: Ryan Murray #27 of Team Canada and Austin Watson #26 of Team USA shove each other during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship game at Rexall Place on December 31, 2011 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

The draft, hands down, is the best time of the hockey season. Maybe I'm just saying that because the Wild haven't been seen post-season action since 2008, but that is besides the point.

The Wild hold seven picks this year, including the 7th overall pick. The last time that Wild had a pick this high was when the team selected Benoit Pouliot 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (the beginning of the Wild's awful draft record, as seen by our pal's inspiration for their blog's name...).

However, since GM Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brett Flahr arrived, the team has started to see some promise. Some of these names include the Christ-like (or whoever you pray to) Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and the recently drafted Jonas Brodin.

So, on June 22nd-23rd, we will all sit down in front of the television/computer and watch the draft. But if you are wondering, "who's who", then you haven't been reading HW because thats my job.

So without further ado:

Introducing our 2012 NHL #3 Draft Prospect - Ryan Murray:


Ryan Murray

Defense / Everett Silvertips

6-0.5

201

Sep 27 1993



GP G A P +/- PIM
2011/12 - Everett Silvertips (WHL)
50
12
24
36
-2 31

Accomplishments & Awards:

Year Award
2011/12 Everett Silvertips Team Awards - Most Valuable Player

Everett Silvertips Team Awards - Coaches Award

CHL Top Prospects Game

U20 WJC Bronze Medal
2010/11
Everett Silvertips Team Awards - Most Valuable Player

Everett Silvertips Team Awards - Coaches Award

Everett Silvertips Team Awards - Iron Man Award

U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team

WHL (West) Second All-Star Team
2009/10
Everett Silvertips Team Awards - Rookie of the Year

U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team

Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?):

Murray_medium

Probably my favorite prospect (not necessarily the best prospect) in this year's draft. He can just do everything

Summarized Scouting Report

Strengths:

Really the total package ... smart, dependable rearguard ... skating is probably the best in the WHL ... a great skater with excellent lateral movement ... has a very smooth and effective skating stride ... a breathe-taking skater equipped with a 360 degree turning range and glossy pivots ... doesn’t shy away from physical play ... plenty capable of handling himself against larger opponents ... has a good hard point shot ... one of the best outlet passers in this draft ... quick on the transition ... shows some good creativity … moves the puck with short, accurate passes ... while he’s not a dangler he could certainly hold his own in open ice ... cool and calm in all situations ... decision-making on the ice are outstanding ... ultra-consistent and controls the play when on the ice… sees the game well as plays develop around him ... can effectively jump into or lead the rush up the ice ... displays a poise well beyond his years ... always seems to be in the right position ... never gets out of position and I’ve never seen him lose a one-on-one battle …effectively spins off forecheckers ... excellent in his positioning and stick work ... great shot-blocking abilities and sound defensive positioning ... has all of the tangibles that NHL teams love to build around on their blueline ... oozes character and has a plethora of leadership skills ... he does everything so well at such a high level ... has the maturity to be able to step into the NHL next season

Weaknesses:

not a punishing guy who will provide a physical presence ... would also like to see him be a bit more aggressive on the offensive side of the puck ... his offensive skills may be limited and he may be more of a stay-at home defender

HW Projection:

Top pairing two-way defenseman that plays top minutes in every single situation

Video Evidence:

2012 Draft Prospect: Ryan Murray (via mokyboy11)

Where Does He Fit In The Wild?

The Wild have Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella and Jared Spurgeon all looking like the future of the team's blueline but while they are all great, none of shoe-in top defensemen; they all have things they need to improve at.

Murray would come in, potentially right away, and develop into its #1 defenesman.

But no chance.

Conclusion

Although I have Murray at #3, he's more of a #2B tied with Alex Galchenyuk. Although I think Galchenyuk has tons of offensive potential, Murray is just such an impressive young blueliner, its hard to forget about him. Much like last year when people questioning whether Landeskog could be a top line NHL player, Murray has the same doubts but just manages to win at every single level.

See how Landeskog turned out.

He just wins and leads.

He has tons of leadership experience. From the Hockey Writers, there was quote by McKeen’s Director of Scouting David Burstyn saying "Ryan Murray oozes character and has a plethora of leadership skills as he has been the captain of each of his teams since he was 10 years old".

He also is so skilled that he has helped represent Canada at every level, besides the Olympics. He was skilled enough to represent Team Canada U-20 as a youngster, which is very impressive. However, its even more surprising that he is representing Team Canada in the World Championsips along with NHLers Duncan Keith and Dion Phaneuf, and has not looked out of place.

So he leads, he plays at a pro level. The only question is, how high is his upside?

Some question whether he has the offensive ability to become a #1 guy. The way I see it, he can play 25+ minutes on regular ice time, PP and PK and not hurt the team. I call that a #1 defenseman. If he doesn't produce 30+ points but eats up that amount of time and keeps the puck moving, I would gladly use the #2 pick for that.

Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Report

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