It is 1200 kilometers from Kitchener, ON. to Raleigh, NC, but hockey fans down in Carolina have never felt closer to the Canadian city.
One year after drafting 2011 NHL Calder Trophy Winner Jeff Skinner, the Carolina Hurricanes once more dipped into the Steve Spott factory of NHLers, taking defenseman, Ryan Murphy.
Did the Canes see another possible rookie sensation, when taking the Rangers’ defenseman?
“I’m a confident kid, and I would like to say I can play in the NHL next year,” Murphy said. “I’ve seen Jeff Skinner do it, and I think to myself, why can’t I as well?”
It wasn’t too long ago that many experts thought the diminutive Skinner would head back to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium and continue to light up the OHL. The same things are being said of the Aurora, ON. native.
Murphy, however, is just excited to get on the ice with a former teammate.
“I honestly can’t wait to get into that building and step on the ice for the first time,” Murphy said. “I know Jeff Skinner loved it there, so hopefully I can love it too.”
Just over a month away from NHL training camp, the five-foot-11 Murphy has some work to do, and he knows it. Concerns over his height will always be there, but he’s willing to put in the time and energy to bulk up, like he knows he needs to.
“I’m going to work every day this summer,” pledged Murphy. “I’m going to try to get bigger and stronger and hopefully I’ll be in the lineup for next year. I’m not going to go into the gym to try to get to 200 pounds, because I know that will affect my game. I’m going to go into the gym and try to put on a good 15 pounds of good weight and allow me to play the way I do.”
On the ice, Murphy isn’t about to change.
“My coaches up until now I have been really fortunate that they haven’t really tried to change the way I play my game, they’ve just been adding to it,” he said. “So hopefully there in Carolina they’ll just add to it and not try to change me as a player.”
About the only thing Murphy is looking to change is his geographical location, some 750 miles south.
Brian Huddle is an OHL correspondent for 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!