Defenseman Ryan Murray is captain of the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot, 182-pound native of Saskatchewan was recently named captain for Team Cherry at the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Kelowna, B.C. He took second place in 'Hardest Shot' at the Top Prospects Skills Competition with a blast of 94.3 mph. He recently won a bronze medal playing for Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship. Despite the busy schedule, Murray continues to provide a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Hi all. I just finished up at the Top Prospects Skills Competition and was pretty happy to get second in the hardest shot event. It's a pretty simple event. You just go in there, wind up and smack it as hard as you can ... not much skill to it. But it was fun.
I told (Nick Ebert) before he went up for his shot that he was going to beat me, because I knew he had a pretty hard shot. And Nick did wind up winning (with a shot of 94.7 mph). I really hadn't recorded my shot in quite some time -- last time I checked, I hit the puck 37 mph.
I thought maybe I could have done well in the fastest skater event. I love the breakaway shootouts, for sure. That would have been fun, as well. Overall, though, this was great. It's nice that they mix in some fun with the game. I know everybody is kind of nervous. You have one game to kind of prove yourself in front of a ton of scouts, so it's good to loosen things up with the skills competition.
That 3-on-3we had in the end was a little tiring. Staying out there for 40-second shifts is a long time when you only have three guys on the ice. There's a lot of skating out there. I give credit to the goalies. I thought the goaltending was good. They are forced to stop shootouts and it gets tough on the goalies. Even on those 3-on-3's ... there's a lot of backdoor passes and they were good sports with everything that was going on.
I can tell you there's a lot of excitement for (Wednesday's Top Prospects Game). Everyone in the locker room is excited and nervous at the same time. But these are the games we all love to play and everybody is watching, so it'll be fun.
I've seen some scouts during my stay here in Kelowna while at my hotel, but they've stayed clear and out of everyone's way for the most part. There was a New York Rangers scout in our elevator (Tuesday), so they're kind of around. He didn't ask any serious questions or anything. He just said hello and told me to have fun. They introduce themselves, but aren't asking any serious draft questions.
Well, time to get some sleep before practice Wednesday morning and the game in the evening. Thanks for reading.