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NHL Draft Rewind: 2012 first round

by Brad Friedman / Columbus Blue Jackets

Rated the second-best North American prospect coming into the 2012 draft, seeing Ryan Murray come off the board with the second overall pick was hardly a shock.

Murray had been praised as a dynamic two-way player with great skating ability and even better passing skills. Those passing skills were highlighted by his terrific "first pass" ability,  but he also racked up 99 assists in four seasons with the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips.

With such an illustrious junior hockey career (including multiple World Junior appearances and a men's World Championship appearance for Team Canada), the expectations for Murray in his first season were sky-high. Instead of collapsing under the pressure of faster and more physical competition, Murray thrived on a club that prided itself on youth and energy.

Four goals and 17 assists in his rookie season were solid numbers for the 20-year-old defenseman and it was only the tip of the iceberg. Murray established him as a key member of the Blue Jackets' defense and he'll continue to be moving forward. 

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