23-Year-Old Defenseman – Columbus Blue Jackets
Ryan Murray Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $5.65 million contract extension with the Blue Jackets in February of 2016.
Murray (hand) will not return to the lineup against Pittsburgh on Thursday, Wes Crosby of NHL.com reports.
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Ryan Murray: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There's no doubt that Murray is supremely talented -- he wasn't the No. 2 overall pick in 2012 for no reason, after all -- but injuries have dogged him throughout his playing career. Last season was the worst yet, as he played just 12 games thanks to knee, ankle and foot injuries. On the bright side, Murray's just entering his age-22 season, so all hope isn't lost. However, even if he can stay healthy, he'll be hard pressed to put up a lot of points despite a top-four role, as Kevin Connauton is likely to occupy left defense spot on the Jackets' power-play unit.
While injuries continued to dog him, Murray's rookie season was fairly successful. Scoring 21 points in 66 games won him a spot on the Blue Jackets' second defensive pairing and he proved himself to be mature far beyond his years. The presence of Jack Johnson and James Wisniewski prevent him from seeing big power play minutes, which limits Murray's fantasy potential, but it won't be long before he establishes himself as a rock-solid two-way blueliner and an indispensable part of Columbus' future.
The 2012 second overall pick Murray played in just 23 WHL games last year due to a separated shoulder. Assuming he's fully recovered from surgery, he'll head into camp looking to win a spot with the big club. There are no weaknesses in Murray's game, and he's capable of making an impact at both ends of the ice with smart, steady play, but don't look for big fantasy numbers from him right away.
Despite a lack of offense that was about to be exacerbated by the Rick Nash trade, the Blue Jackets passed up the chance to add a potential franchise forward to the organization at this year's draft and instead used the second overall pick on Murray. It's hard to argue with their choice though as he was arguably the most NHL-ready player available, showing a tremendous amount of poise, leadership and maturity during his junior career to go along with an extremely well-rounded skill set. The Blue Jackets' blue line is deep enough that even if Murray does break camp with the club, he won't be required to shoulder a heavy offensive burden, but it will likely just be a matter of time before his play starts demanding ice time in key situations.
Signed a three-year deal with the Blue Jackets in July of 2012.