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Jackets sign Ryan Murray to entry-level deal

Tuesday, 07.24.2012 / 3:14 PM / News

NHL.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday signed defenseman Ryan Murray, the second player taken in the 2012 NHL Draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Murray becomes the 10th player drafted in the first round last month to sign an entry-level deal with the club that selected him. The first player taken, Nail Yakupov of the Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting, signed an entry-level deal with the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

2012 first-round picks to sign



Selection - Player - Team

1 - Nail Yakupov - Edmonton Oilers
2 - Ryan Murray - Columbus Blue Jackets
3 - Alex Galchenyuk - Montreal Canadiens
6 - Hampus Lindholm - Anaheim Ducks
7 - Mathew Dumba - Minnesota Wild
11 - Filip Forsberg - Washington Capitals
12 - Mikhail Grigorenko - Buffalo Sabres
13 - Radek Faksa - Dallas Stars
14 - Zemgus Girgensons - Buffalo Sabres
16 - Thomas Wilson - Washington Capitals

Murray produced nine goals and 31 points in 46 games for the Western Hockey League's Everett Silvertips in 2011-12. He led the team's defensemen in goals, assists and points despite an injury-shortened season. He also represented bronze medal-winning Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Edmonton and Calgary.

The 18-year-old native of White City, Sask., got his first taste of professional life earlier this month when he participated in the Blue Jackets' development camp in Columbus.

"It was a tough week, they really put us through the grinder," Murray told the team's website. "They had us do some tough workouts and some tough skates, but it was a lot of fun, too, and I learned a lot."

Brad Larsen, coach of the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, was impressed with Murray's work ethic at camp.

"Ryan just got better every day," Larsen said. "He's been pretty much what's advertised, from what I saw. He calms pucks down, he makes a good first pass, and when we did line-rush stuff. He's a defensemen that makes the right decisions.

"I kind of laugh when they say he's the safe pick, but I don't know many teams that wouldn't want a safe defenseman that can play for the next 15 years. I'm very impressed with what he brought, and I see him only getting better as time goes on."

Murray connected for five goals and 27 points and was plus-33 in 52 games in 2009-10 when he was named the team's Rookie of the Year.

"I think Murray brings something to the game ... he brings a steadiness to the game to the point that you know he'll play 15 years in the League without any problem," NHL Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan told NHL.com.

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1