The 2010 World Under 18 Hockey Championship won’t go down in Canadian history as a smashing success story. A matter of fact it was less than memorable for many, a seventh place finish in Minsk Belarus.
Here is what I remember from that event minus the disappointing result. The play of then 16-year-old Ryan Murray. I kept watching thinking, ‘this is the only underage blueliner on the team and he might just be the best’.
Fast forward to Canada’s National Junior Team’s Selection Camp, and following two intra-squad games, I once again find myself feeling somewhat similar. No, the product of White City, SK. is not the youngest member of the blue line corps here in Calgary – that title belongs to Mathew Dumba of the Red Deer Rebels – however the Everett Silvertip captain once again just might be the best of a pretty good group.
Murray’s status for the camp was very much in question when a few weeks ago when he suffered a high ankle sprain, an injury that heals very slowly. Two days into the affair and despite not being 100 per cent healthy, it would be hard to imagine Murray not being on this team when the squad is unveiled on Wednesday morning.
I might take it one step further. I would be surprised if he didn’t start the tournament as part of the shutdown pairing. Murray can play it any way you want. He skates so well, makes terrific decisions with the puck, has excellent hockey sense. Murray will undoubtedly be a very high draft pick at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, so enjoy his coming out party. As long as his health doesn’t suffer a setback, the World Juniors promise to be a great one for Murray.
And quite possibly his only shot at the event. Even though the 18-year-old will be eligible to return in 2013, look for this youngster to be in the National Hockey League, not Ufa Russia.