Ryan Murray is a defenseman for the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot, 182-pound native of Saskatchewan was named Everett's Rookie of the Year in 2009-10 after producing 22 assists and 27 points in 62 games. He became the youngest captain in franchise history during the 2010-11 season while leading the team with a plus-18 rating and all defensemen on the club with 46 points. He was one of two 2012 draft eligible players invited to Canada's National Junior Team development camp for participation in the World Junior Championship and he also participated in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp fueled by G Series in August. Murray has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Hello everyone and thanks for taking the time to read my initial entry draft blog for NHL.com.
I am definitely really excited about the draft this year, but it's still a long way away and I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. I just want to take everything a day at a time until then, and hopefully when that day comes, good things will happen. It's always there in the back of my mind though, that's for sure. There's a little more added pressure this year, but I try not to let anything get to my head or affect my mindset. When I do think about it, I use it as motivation and don't let it make me feel nervous or anxious.
Before I get into my goals for the season, let me tell you a little about myself.
My dad got me started when I was 2-years-old. I was too young to remember it, but I know I started skating on those kids' skates with two blades for stability. So basically I've been playing for as long as I can remember. Growing up in White City, Saskatchewan, I played baseball, football and even a little bit of soccer when I was younger. I also played volleyball for a year.
We used to play a lot of guitar hero -- that was definitely a big hit when we were growing up. Our family never really took many vacations, so we usually just hung around town and found ways to have fun.
A lot of people ask me how I felt to be named captain in Everett last year. I was actually named captain after Landon Ferraro was injured halfway through the year. It was a little hard at first not having him around the team while he was injured because he was such a good leader for the boys.
I tried to make it pretty normal. I didn't try to change who I am and just tried to be the same person. Being captain is a huge honor and a big responsibility. This year I'm just trying to lead the team the best that I can by working hard every day, giving 100 percent all the time and leading by example.
I thought the RDO Camp in August was really interesting with all the rule changes and such. It was great to get out there with some of the top players in the draft class all playing together. It was also good to see what the NHL is thinking about with possible rule changes and it was fun to test them out.
I missed the cut for earning a roster spot for Team Canada at last year's World Junior Championship in Buffalo (N.Y.) so it's definitely very important to me to make the World Junior team this year. Every hockey player in the country wants to play there, and to have the opportunity to make that team is really special. I'm going to give it everything I have to go out there and earn a spot by playing hard every single game and doing extra work after practice.
Our goal in Everett this year is for our team to make the playoffs and hopefully do some damage once we're there. We've got a young team with a lot of rookies, and we need to focus on coming together as a group so we can go as far as possible once the playoffs come around.
Well, that's it for now. I'll be blogging once a month, so check back in November.