The 2012 NHL Draft featured 13 defensemen taken in the first round, and as the 2013-14 season opens, seven of those players will make their NHL debuts.
Chief among them is Ryan Murray, the second pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Murray likely would have been with the Blue Jackets last season, but a shoulder injury sustained in November while playing junior hockey with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League ended his season.
Healthy and ready to go, Murray will play a key role on the team's blue line, where he likely will be paired with veteran James Wisniewski.
"He's very calm," teammate RJ Umberger told NHL.com. "That's been the M.O. on him, that he's very poised, calm and ahead of where he should be. He looks good so far. He's still learning, but he's going to be a tremendous player."