Ryan Murray is a defenseman for the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot, 182-pound native of Saskatchewan was recently invited to participate in Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp, Dec. 10-14, 2011 at the WinSport Canada Athletic & Ice Complex in Calgary. Despite being sidelined by an ankle injury since Oct. 19, Murray will continue to provide a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Hi all. The good news is I've been skating again and participating in some drills with the team. It feels pretty good, but it is still not game ready. It's tough to say when I will return, so I'm just taking things day by day right now. It's been tough to sit out for so long, especially with a nagging injury that you're trying to recover from. It feels pretty good right now though. I still need to get it a little bit stronger, but it's definitely been nice to get out on the ice and skate with the boys. It's just good to be able to get out there and do something because doing nothing but riding the bike and lifting weights every day was starting to get old.
I'm confident that I'll be ready for the World Junior camp, and I'm excited to get to Calgary to compete for a spot. My expectations this year are to definitely make the team. I think it would be a lot of fun to play in that tournament, especially since it is in held in Canada.
It's just such a huge tournament, and everybody in Canada watches it. I don't know many people who don't. It's a pretty big deal to everybody, and so many people in Canada really care about the National Junior Team. I always watched as a kid and always wanted to be there. It would be so great to go there and play with the best players in Canada.
It was definitely hard last year, going to the selection camp as a 17-year-old, being so close and then not making it. It's definitely been in the back of my mind since then to go back and work as hard as I possibly could to make the team this year.
Whenever you take the 40 best players in Canada, you're going to have a lot of good players and a bunch of guys who deserve to make the team. I know quite a few of the guys on the roster, especially after going to the selection camp last year and getting to meet a bunch of them. I guess one of the guys I know the best is Jaden Schwartz from Colorado College. I've known him for a long time. We used to go to school together and I'd go to his house every day for lunch.
Obviously it will be a really tough camp. Guys are giving it all they've got out there, and there's a great deal of intensity on the ice. The games are always tough with so many good players and so much skill out there on the ice at one time. I'm really excited to get out there and give it my best shot.
Since my injury, I haven't really been following the progress of other top prospects. It is very strange with a lot of prospects getting injured this year. Let's just hope that things get better for the rest of the season for the draft class of 2012.