Time is running out for Ryan Murphy if he wants to remain in the National Hockey League. Since being Carolina’s 1st round pick back in the 2011 NHL Draft, Murphy has bounced back and forth between the minors and the NHL and can’t find the numbers to the hype surrounding him when he was drafted. To say Murphy’s game has been disappointing given the lofty expectations is an understatement.
Murphy, just 25 years old, has had a whirlwind of a career so far. In 172 NHL games, Murphy has only been able to muster up just 8 goals and 34 assists, many of those with the Carolina Hurricanes. Although Murphy hasn’t had much success in the NHL, there is a sigh of relief in his game while down in the American Hockey League. In 137 games, he was able to put together 93 points while trying to find the confidence on his offensive side of the game. Now, the talent isn’t the same down in the AHL as it is in the NHL (obviously), but to see success in Murphy’s game gives Wild fans some sort of hope that he can find his game and come around.
In his early days however, he was the leader everyone was hoping he would be coming into the NHL. Playing 3 seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Kitchener Rangers, he was able to put on a show playing 174 games almost putting up a point a game. Murphy would finish his time with the Rangers having a total of 172 points and was a +33. The sky was the limit for this young superstar ready to make his name in the NHL.
However, the name of the game in the NHL is making a name for yourself by putting up points on a consistent basis. Murphy said earlier this season, “I think in the past I’ve gotten away from the game that got me into the league, and that was being a defenseman that can distribute the puck, I’ve struggled with my identity the last couple of years being in and out of the lineup.” Murphy has yet to play a complete season in his professional career, but he hopes that in the short time he is with the Wild, he is able to put up the numbers of which he is capable.
Before coming to the Wild, Murphy spent 5 seasons in the Carolina Hurricanes organization, but it was a wild (no pun intended) 72 hours that saw him go from Carolina, to being traded to Calgary, to being waived by the Flames to evidently ending up with the Wild. This past season, Murphy saw limited time with the Wild only playing 21 games and continued to struggle only being able to put together just 5 points. When he was first called up for the injured Jared Spurgeon, he looked promising. However, when he was forced back down to Iowa when Spurgen returned, he just couldn’t regain that form. Most of his 2017-2018 season was spent down in the AHL with Iowa where he played 48 games and saw a little more success with having 28 points. In his final year of his 2 year, $1.575M deal, Murphy looks to have more success with the Wild in hopes of getting a new contract come this time next year.
It’s make or break time here for Murphy, and with only being being a 3rd line defensemen alongside Nate Prosser, Murphy must make all his opportunities count this upcoming season.