Murphy heads to the Windy City after four arduous years with the lowly Coyotes. Despite his status as 2011’s first-round (20th overall) draft choice, the Boston native has managed a mere 49 points (13 goals, 36 assists) and an equally uninspiring minus-30 rating over 258 career contests. However, his moving to a Blackhawks team that ranked in the top half in goals for and against last year points to a potential bounce-back campaign in 2017-18.
In his third season, Murphy took a step forward, earning six goals, 11 assists, 175 hits and 101 shots on goal while also sporting a respectable plus-5 rating (especially considering most of his team was in the negative). The 23-year-old comes into the 2016-17 campaign next to special talent Oliver Ekman-Larsson, which improves the youngster’s potential to take his game to the next level. While he’s not an offensive juggernaut by any means, the blueliner will be tasked with finishing plays created by OEL. Unfortunately, that alone will most likely not be enough to keep Murphy relevant in most formats, unless you are looking for hits and blocked shots (139 last year).
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.