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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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 42 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 47 9 19 -13 28
E. Lindholm 47 9 11 -11 20
J. Tlusty 40 12 7 -11 19
J. Skinner 42 10 9 -7 19
R. Nash 47 7 12 -4 19
N. Gerbe 43 5 13 -3 18
V. Rask 47 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 45 1 14 -6 15
C. Terry 34 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .918 2.30
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45