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Canes sign Murphy, 2011 first-round pick

Friday, 09.16.2011 / 7:36 PM / News

NHL.com

At the very least, the 18-year-old defenseman will get the opportunity to win a spot in the Carolina Hurricanes opening-night lineup now that he has officially signed his first NHL contract.

Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford announced Friday that Murphy, the No. 12 pick in the 2011 Entry Draft, signed a three-year, entry-level contract that will pay him $832,500 per season at the NHL level. Murphy received a $277,500 signing bonus as part of the package.

'Canes' prospect Ryan Murphy (Photo: Getty Images)
"Ryan is a gifted offensive defenseman," Rutherford said. "He skates extremely well and is dynamic with the puck. He put up very impressive numbers as a 17-year-old in the OHL, and he's put himself in a position to push for a spot on the NHL level."

Murphy has played two seasons for the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League. He ranked second among all OHL defenseman last season with 79 points in 63 games. His 26 goals led all OHL blueliners and were second among all defensemen across Canada's three major junior hockey leagues. His 53 assists were second among defensemen in the OHL.

Murphy has some international acclaim as well. He was named the top defensemen at the 2011 IIHF World Men's Under-18 Championship earlier this year when he led Team Canada with 13 points in seven games.

He can still be returned to Kitchener, but he's not able to play in the in the American Hockey League because he has junior eligibility left

We're certainly happy we got the win, but we feel we have a long way to go obviously. We're going take another step in San Jose and it is going to be a tough one.

— Los Angeles Kings forward Justin Williams said after his team's Game 4 win vs. the San Jose Sharks