NHL Draft 2012: Solid, Yet Unspectacular Ryan Murray Should Be Early Selection

EDMONTON, CANADA - DECEMBER 31: Ryan Murray #27 of Team Canada and Austin Watson #26 of Team USA shove each other during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship game at Rexall Place on December 31, 2011 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

A profile of Ryan Murray, a defenseman from the Everett Silvertips expected to go in the top-4 during this weekend's NHL Draft. Get full 2012 NHL Draft coverage from SB Nation's draft hub.

There are some very good defenseman prospects in this year's NHL Draft. The best of the lot, unquestionably in my view, is Everett Silvertips blueliner Ryan Murray.

Murray is the perfect example of a "safe" pick. He's not a guy who blows you away with anything he does, but there aren't a lot of things a defenseman could be asked to do that Murray can't handle capably.


Ryan Murray

Position: Defense
2010-11 Team: Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Height: 6-0
Weight: 201
Born: September 27, 1993

2010-11 Regular Season
GP G A P +/- PIM
Everett Silvertips 50 12 24 36 -2 31


The problem with a player of Murray's profile is that he's labeled as a "low upside" player. He's not a great goal scorer, but he moves the puck as well as anyone. He can play physical, and he's played a ton of minutes against some great young forwards in the WHL. His defensive game is well-tested and should be ready to make the jump to the NHL rather quickly.

If the fit is deemed right, Murray could easily go in the top-four, especially in a pretty weak draft like this one.

However, guys like Brandon Gormley have come through in the past with the profile of a top-five pick, only to see their stock fall because teams are trying so hard -- you could also say "too hard" here -- to hit a home run with those high draft picks.

Murray could see his stock fall a bit, but at the end of the day, that stock is too high for him to be anything but the top four pick he's advertised to be.

Stick with SB Nation's 2012 NHL Draft hub for full coverage of the event from Pittsburgh. Be sure to check with our network of hockey blogs for draft coverage from a team perspective.

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