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Tracking the Storm

Patience Key for Murphy

Wednesday, 07.17.2013 / 11:15 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Patience Key for Murphy
Under rather unique circumstances, Ryan Murphy got a taste of the NHL in the shortened 2012-13 season.

Michael Smith
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This year, he wants more, and he’s out to prove it beginning with this week’s Prospects Development Camp.

“This week is good because it gets you back on the ice and gets you almost back to game speed,” he said. “I’m enjoying myself, and it’s a great week.”

Drafted 12th overall in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, this is Murphy’s second such development camp, a bit of an oddity for a player who has four NHL games under his belt.

But it’s also not the same camp as it was two summers ago.

“The first camp I went to was a bit more high-tempo,” he said. “There was a bit more off-ice than on-ice.”

Along with the rest of the camp attendees, Murphy has a stall in the Hurricanes dressing room. Unlike most others, this is somewhat of a familiar spot for him.

“I’ve been in this room a few times now, and it never gets old,” he said. “It’s still pretty surreal.”

Murphy was recalled by the Canes midseason on an emergency basis, as the then-19-year-old unexpectedly skated in four games for Carolina in late February. In his NHL debut, he logged 23:51 of ice time, and in his second game, 25:27.

Should he make the team this year, perhaps as a seventh or eighth defenseman, Murphy probably won’t see that same workload as he learns the league at his own pace.

“It’s not putting too much pressure on me to play big minutes. It’s easing me into it,” he said. “I think if I’m a seven or eight D, I’d obviously want to move up in the lineup. I’d do my best to prove myself and get more minutes.”

In his four-year OHL career, Murphy was nearly a point-per-game producer with 53 goals and 167 assists (220 points) in 228 regular-season games. Murphy, 20, joined the Charlotte Checkers at the conclusion of the season, skating in three regular-season games and posting two assists.

“I’m just coming out of junior now, so there are a lot of aspects of my game that I want to improve,” he said. “Mainly, I want to get bigger and stronger in the defensive zone. Positionally, I need to focus on the little things on the ice.”

Murphy said his brief stints in the NHL and AHL were invaluable learning experiences, as they highlighted the aspects of his game that need fine-tuning.

“There are little things I can get away with in junior, like making a mistake and using my skating to make up for it,” he said. “If you make a mistake at a higher level, there’s no way you’re going to make up for that mistake. Just little things that you have to pay attention to each shift.”

The Aurora, Ont., native also got a glimpse of playoff hockey, as he played in five first-round games with the Checkers in late April and early May.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “It’s great hockey with a great pace, and I learned a lot.”

Following the Checkers’ exit from the Calder Cup Playoffs, Murphy said he took a week off to let his body rest before getting back into the weight room and hitting the ice three times a week to keep his skating and hands sharp.

His training has also beefed up his 5-foot-11 frame. When he was drafted two summers ago, Murphy weighed in at 165 pounds. Today, he’s up to 185 pounds and ready to call Raleigh his home.

“I’m going to play my game, work hard and do everything I can to make the big club,” Murphy said. “Patience is key. I’ve been patient to make the squad, and hopefully next year is my year.”



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 41 15 13 -8 28
J. Faulk 46 8 18 -14 26
J. Skinner 41 10 9 -7 19
E. Lindholm 46 9 10 -10 19
R. Nash 46 7 12 -4 19
J. Tlusty 39 11 7 -12 18
N. Gerbe 42 4 13 -2 17
V. Rask 46 6 9 -9 15
A. Sekera 44 1 14 -8 15
C. Terry 33 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 5 8 2 .916 2.32
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45