Friday, June 24, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Ryan Murphy #4

By Eldon MacDonald

4. Ryan Murphy - “My Guy” - D - Canada

Ryan Murphy: Wikicommoms coutesy of Tabercil

Vitals: Size - 5’11”, 170 lb.; Shoots right; Born: 31-Mar-93 - Aurora, ON
Team: Kitchener, OHL
Twitter: @ryanmurphy24
2010-11 Stats: 63-26-53-79-36-(+22) + OHL playoffs 7-2-9-11-8-(+1) + U18 7-4-9-13-2-(+2)
4 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
4 - Craig Button's Top 30 of 8-Jun-11
6 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
6 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
6 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
6 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
7 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
7 - McKeen's June Top 30
7 - The Hockey News per TSN
8 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
8 - ISS's Top 30 - 30-May-11 per TSN
8 - Guy Flaming - The Pipeline Show Top 30
8 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
10 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
11 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (9th North American skater)
Draft result:
12 - Carolina Hurricane

Maybe he can do what you believe untrue
He’s my guy

He’ll make your heart stop when the puck does a drop
He’s my guy

It’s impossible to deny that he’ll give it a try
He’s my guy

His skating is so true that he’ll make you go blue
He’s my guy

He’s my guy
He’s my guy

Yes, Ryan Murphy is my type of guy. He is a difference maker. He is a game changer. He brings the game to a new level. He is not like the rest, he is in a class of his own. Five years from now when Craig Button or someone else does a redraw of the 2011 draft, he will be saying, “How did they let him get away”. He is the guy who will cause Don Cherry to say, “I told you so”. He is the guy who will cause Bob Cole to eventually wear out his catchmark phrase, “Oh, baby”. He is a guy with the potential to cause “YouTube” to crash. And yes, I kinda like the guy.

So what did Ryan Murphy do to garner such effuse praise? Well at the U18’s, he was named best defenseman of the tournament and set an all time Canadian record for points in the tournament. However, that award and that record nowhere near does justice to the actual performance he put on in Germany. Against the USA and Russia he brought Canada back from major deficits to tie or come close to tying the game at the end of regulation time, sometimes with the goalie sitting on the bench for an extra attacker. And it was not just what he did but how he did it. He brought a relentless uptempo attack with dazzling skating, unbelievable moves and the vision to use his teammates to get the job done. There is no one in this draft or even in the NHL with that kind of offensive ability from the back-end - not even close. And oh yeah, we didn’t have that bad a season in the OHL either, finishing with 79 points, second only to Ryan Ellis who just happened to be named CHL player of the year.

Ok, I will do the skills thing or at least an abbreviated version:
  1. Skating - Breathless
  2. Stickhandling - Mind-boggling
  3. Shot - “Oh, baby”
  4. Passing - Effortless
  5. Competitive - Oh yeah, and he even likes to throw bodychecks in spite of his diminutive stature (5’11’’, 170 lb.)
  6. Intelligence - To the moon, Alice, to the moon (old Jackie Gleason saying on the Honeymooners)!!!
His coach at Kitchener, Steve Spott puts it like it is when he told, "He’s like no one else in this league. You can’t get to him, you can’t hit him. He’s a kid that’s slippery, his vision is second to none, his hockey sense is second to none. He can skate and he’s got a rocket. He’s got all the intangibles to be an all-star not only in this league, but the National Hockey League."

As for weaknesses, yes there is the size and strength thing and he still has to work on his defense to bring it up to NHL acceptable. It may take him a few more years than his high-end defensive peers in this draft to bring these areas up to acceptable but when he does Jackie Gleason will look premonitionent when he said, “To the moon, Alice, to the moon”.

OK, I have the kid at four only because I know Edmonton will take Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Colorado is likely to take Jonathan Huburdeau or Gabriel Landeskog and a donut-team like Florida needs a big center like Sean Couturier. Therefore, New Jersey at four is the earliest the kid is likely to go. And yes, I know that Ryan is the player most likely in the top nine rankings to drop but all I can say to that is “They’ll be sorry”.


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