In the past, there’s been no mistaking Ryan Murphy when he’s stepped out onto the ice. One of the most dynamic offensive defenseman in the Canadian Hockey League, Murphy scored 26 goals and had 79 points as a 17-year-old defenseman last year.
But that Ryan Murphy didn’t come to Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp.
Instead, a more responsible, defensive-minded Murphy made the trip to Calgary, and it could be his ticket to the 2012 World Junior Championship.
“They know what I can do offensively so I wanted to prove I can play on the defensive side of the puck as well,” Murphy said. “Coach made it clear to me they wanted to see my defensive side of the game. That’s what I did out there. I was trying to play as defensively as I could.”
Mission accomplished for Murphy, who erased any questions about being a defensive liability with three strong days on the ice.
Coming in with the stigma of being an ‘offenseman’, Murphy had a lot to do in a short period of time to shake the stereotype of the game he plays in his own end.
“I want to be one of the guys who they trust on the ice,” Murphy said. “I don’t want to be a defensive liability. I don’t want to be one of those guys they are scared to put out there in a 5-on-5 situation. I wanted to prove to them I can play a 200 foot game as well.”
“It comes with maturity and coaching, Coming into my first year of the OHL, I didn’t know much about the defensive side of the game. I’ve come a long way since then. Coaches have taught me so much. I feel like it’s not really my weak spot anymore.”
But if coach Don Hay taps Murphy on the shoulder to provide an offensive spark, the Aurora, ON. native wont hesitate to pick up the puck and wheel.
“I’m sure that time will come,” Murphy said. “I have to pick my spots well.”
And if he didn’t show enough to skate a regular shift under coach Don Hay, Murphy is fine with whatever job he is given, as long as he is given one.
“If I happen to be that 7th guy and just play the power play I’ll be happy,” he said. “I’ll be happy with any role.”
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!