CASTLE SHANNON, Pa. -- Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray already has played three full seasons in the Western Hockey League, and if he has it his way, there won't be a fourth.
Murray, ranked second on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2012 NHL Draft, said he hopes to be in the NHL when the 2012-13 season starts.
"That's what I want to do, that's my goal," he said. "That's what I want to do next year. … I want to make the jump. Obviously it's a big one. I know I have a lot of work to do, but that's definitely my goal for next year."
Murray was born about two weeks past the cutoff date for the 2011 draft, making him one of the oldest players among the first-timers for this year's draft. He said he believes having a late birthday when it comes to the hockey season has helped him.
"I got an extra year than the other guys," he said. "I've got a pretty big head start on the other guys. I guess the scouts keep that in mind, too. I try to relate myself to the [1993-born prospects from the 2011 draft] a lot, as well."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK