23-Year-Old Defenseman – Arizona Coyotes
Connor Murphy Contract Information:
Signed a six-year contract with the Coyotes in July of 2016.
Murphy (upper body) will return to Arizona's lineup for Saturday's game against Minnesota, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.
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Connor Murphy: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After posting eight points in 30 games in 2013-14, Murphy seemed to take a step back last season offensively, as he registered only seven points in 73 games with a minus-27 rating. He did rank 26th in the league with 142 blocked shots and delivered 137 hits, which adds some value in deep leagues, but his offensive limitations will put a ceiling on how useful he is most leagues.
Murphy played 30 games for Arizona in 2013-14, scoring eight points and a plus-5 rating. When he played, he actually played quite a lot, ranking 10th on the team with 17:58 minutes per game. His presence was unexpected, however, since he wasn't the Coyotes' top prospect on defense, and although head coach Dave Tippett was complimentary of his play, it is not clear if he has a spot locked up for the coming year. Although he has the pedigree of a first-round pick (and the benefit of NHL genetics), Murphy may be more of an asset in real life than in fantasy, as he has not shown the offensive skill (only 13 points in 36 games with AHL Portlantd) or toughness to make an impact.
Murphy played in 35 games in the OHL last season, delivering 26 points and 26 PIMs. The 19-year-old first-round pick from 2011 needs more development time so he will likely remain in the OHL for 2012-13.
Murphy, who will play at Miami University (Ohio) this season, hopes to show that he's fully recovered from a stress fracture in a back vertebrae. He showed a flash of offensive skills from the blue line with the U.S. National Development Team, but he's still a few years away from being considered as a potential fantasy candidate, even in keeper leagues.