The Atlanta Thrashers pick was Ryan Murphy.
My theory in this pick, is, for years, the Atlanta Thrasher fan base has been screaming that the Thrashers need more D. Sometimes I have been baffled looking at our roster and seeing us so short on Defense. And, with last seasons, we suffered huge injuries keeping our defensive line continually changing. With each injury, there would be another opportunity for someone in Chicago to step up. And it seemed, each time, there was just not that perfect fit we needed.
Ryan Murphy is know as an offensive defensive player. We saw our defense step up more more offensively with maneuvering Dustin Byfuglien into the Defense position this year and, for a while, it worked. A little more offensive would be good for our blueline.
Murphy’s head coach Steve Spott said, ” He’s like no one else in this league. You can’t get to him, you can’t hit him. He’s a kid that is slippery, his vision second to none, his hockey sense is second to none…”
And Ryan Strome, “He’s not an easy guy to get around because he’s so quick and got a good stick.”
His puck handling and ability to rush the puck is high end. His unique skating ability and off the charts elusiveness, combined with his mind blowing level of creative ability and rocket sense is extremely attractive to an organization whose weakest points are continually in the defensive line. The biggest “issue” or “downfall” to this amazing talent? His size? I gotta tell you, I know a NHL team that took a chance on another 5’10” defenseman. Tobias Enstrom is one of the best things to have happened to the Atlanta Thrashers as far as I can tell. I would love to take the gamble on Murphy.
From Christopher Ralph’s article on The Hockey Writers site, “He has the most pure skill other than possible playmaking dynamo centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins”
Ryan Murphy was named the Player of them game in the CHL Home Harward Top Prospects game earlier this year. He represented his country in the World U18 Tournament and scored 4 goals and 9 assists for a total of 13 points in 7 games. He led all bluelines in goals and points and walked away named the Top defensive player for the tournament.
How does he do it? ” Just play it simple,” he said.
Follow the Mock Draft at Too Many Men on the Site