John Davidson is preparing for his first amateur scouting meetings as the Blue Jackets president of hockey operations, but at least for one night, he was happy to relax and watch some hockey.
His hotel room had the NHL Network, allowing him to catch Ryan Murray captain Team WHL to a 1-0 shootout win over Russia last night in the fifth game of the CHL Subway Super Series in Vancouver on Wednesday.
Murray, picked second overall by the Blue Jackets in the 2012 NHL Draft, was paired with Saskatoon Blades blue liner Duncan Siemens (a first-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2011) and played a steady game on defense for the Canadian side.
He did not participate in the Super Series finale in Victoria, as Hockey Canada had a few more defensemen it wants to have a look at before the series concludes.
“I thought Ryan played very well,” Davidson told BlueJackets.com. “I also thought it was an outstanding hockey game with a lot of great young players. The Russian team was excellent, and then you look at the depth of Canada knowing they had a Quebec team, an Ontario team and now a Western team play them…Russia has an outstanding club.
“It was a great game, and it was nice to sit and enjoy watching hockey.”
Davidson said the Subway Super Series is another positive step in Murray’s development, added to the fact that he’s currently the Everett Silvertips captain, as well.
Next on the docket is for Murray to return to Everett and be the club’s top defenseman (as he’s been for the past two seasons) and prepare for the IIHF World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia.
One important aspect of this year’s World Junior tournament is that the Canadians are on the road, Davidson said.
Being the visiting team is another valuable experience for Murray and Team Canada as they learn how to perform under the most intense spotlights in hockey.
“That game last night was played at a really top speed, and that’s great experience to put in the wallet,” Davidson said. “That’s now in the bank. He’s gone through that now and can learn from it.
“Those are the types of experience factors that really help a young man get through pressure-packed situations. When you go on the road – and I’ve experienced this through the Olympics – as a team, it’s you against the world. That’s a great thing for any young player and it’s going to help him.”