"The most impressive thing for me about Connor Murphy was no matter if he played on an Olympic-size rink or the smaller (North American) ice surface, he had so much poise, patience and confidence. He was able to take control of high-pressure situations without any lack of any one of those three ingredients. I'm thinking to myself, 'This kid has missed so much hockey, but he's still as good a player as I've seen all around this season.'" -- Jack Barzee
"The pain came right away pretty sharp," Murphy told NHL.com. "I had something similar the year before, so I knew what to expect."
What he had was a condition known as spondylosis, a stress fracture of the L5 vertebrae. It was the same condition that limited him to just eight games in 2009-10 with the U.S. National Team Development Program's Under-17 team.
The condition didn't require surgery, but it did put him in a back brace and sideline him for five months in the most important hockey season of his career thus far.