Sunday, June 12, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Connor Murphy #28

By Eldon MacDonald

28. Connor Murphy - “Mr. Character” - D - USA

Vitals: Size - 6’3”, 185 lb.; Shoots right; Born: 26-Mar-93 - Dublin, OH
2010-11 Stats: 14-3-3-6-6 + U18 6-3-1-4-(+7)
17 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
19 - ISS per TSN
21 - McKeen's June Top 30
26 - Craig Button's Top 30 of 8-Jun-11
28 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
28 - Guy Flaming - The Pipeline Show Top 30
30 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
30 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (25th North American skater)
31 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
32 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
33 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
38 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
40 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
55 - The Hockey News per TSN
Draft result:
20 - Phoenix Coyotes

A leader, a character person on and off the ice, the son of a 14 year NHLer
(Gord, Assistant Coach of the Florida Panthers last year), a proven winner, that is what you get with Connor Murphy. This is a guy whose resume includes:

2010 - Ivan Hlinka - Silver Medal for Team USA as Team Captain
2011 - U18 - Gold Medal for Team USA including the gold medal winning goal in overtime (see YouTube video by DrPabro Ramirez below).

Central Scouting's Jack Barzee told, "The thing that impressed me was Murphy's poise, patience and confidence. He was able to take control of high pressure situations without any lack of any one of those three attributes; his execution was flawless. Even after his return from those injuries, he was as good a player as I've seen, all-around. He reminded me of Rob Scuderi, but he's better than Scuderi was in his Draft year. Murphy can join in the offense but can also dilute opponents defensively with that spin-o-rama and long reach and body."

Skillwise, Connor is a defenseman who brings both offense and defense along with on-ice leadership. He can quarterback the powerplay and brings a big shot from the point. At the back end, he excels with his positioning, his long reach and an active stick. While not as physical as his Dad, he is prepared to take the body when appropriate. On the rush, he probably should not be considered a top puck moving defenseman but he uses his innate hockey sense to push the puck at the appropriate times so his effect on the game in this area can be considered positive.

As for negatives, there are no real show stoppers - yes, he would be rated even higher if he were just a little faster or would play a bit more physical but when you see him play you would just say that his style of play works for him. The only real negative is that he has missed a lot of time due to injuries in the past two years. However, the injuries are not chronic in nature so should not have a major adverse affect on his draft position.

The rankings have Connor between 17 and 40 (MacKenzie’s poll was taken before Connor came back from injury) and whether he goes higher or lower on that scale is likely dependent on how much, if any, his injury situation affects the decision.


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