The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed restricted free agent defenseman Ryan Murray to a two-year contract through the 2020-21 season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Murray, 25, collected one goal and 28 assists for 29 points with a +20 plus/minus rating and 10 penalty minutes, while averaging 20:23 in ice time per game in 56 outings with Columbus during the 2018-19 season. Despite missing 25 games, including the final 24 of the season, due to injury, he set career highs in assists, points and plus/minus rating a season ago. He ranked second on the club in plus/minus, third in ice time and third among club blueliners in assists and points.
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"Ryan Murray is an elite puck-moving defenseman with excellent vision and we are excited that he will continue to be an important part of the young and talented blueline we have in Columbus," said Kekalainen. "He has battled injuries early in his career, but he is still a young player with great upside and we believe his best seasons are ahead of him."
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The 6-1, 198-pound native of Regina, Saskatchewan has registered 13-88-101, 100 penalty minutes and is +22 in 320 career games since making his NHL debut at the age of 20 in 2013-14. Two years later, he appeared in a career-high 82 games and notched 4-21-25 and 40 penalty minutes during the 2015-16 season. He also led the club and ranked 14th in the NHL with 171 blocked shots that season.
Selected by the Blue Jackets in the first round, second overall, at the 2012 NHL Draft, Murray played for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey tournament in 2016. He has represented Canada at three IIHF World Championship tournaments. He became the second-youngest player (Paul Kariya, youngest) to represent Canada in the tournament in 2012, won a gold medal in 2016 and also participated in 2018. He also helped Canada win the bronze medal at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships. With the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, he collected 22-99-121, 121 penalty minutes and was +51 in 191 games from 2009-12.