Defenseman Ryan Murray was chosen by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the second pick of the 2012 NHL Draft. He missed most of last season after sustaining a shoulder injury in November playing for the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. Murray had two goals and 17 points in 23 games for the Silvertips prior to his injury that sidelined him for nine months. The 6-foot, 201-pound left-hander has offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com during the Traverse City Prospects Tournament this week in Michigan.
I'm here in Traverse City and two games are in the books; we're currently 1-1.
We took the seven-hour bus drive from Columbus, Ohio, and had dinner when we arrived on Wednesday night and then went straight into Game 1 on Thursday [against the Buffalo Sabres]. It just feels good to be travelling and be on the road again with the guys.
Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Ryan Murray has felt healthy on the ice at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament. (Credit: Frank Deines III)
In the opener on Thursday [a 3-2 loss], I was pretty rusty myself but you're trying to make a good impression and everyone is working so hard and it's a little bit of a scrambling game at times but it's still hockey. It's nice to be out there throwing the body around a little bit again and taking checks and regaining that intensity again; it was awesome.
I took a few hits and everything feels the same. Off the ice I can do certain movements where it feels kind of strange, but once I get on the ice and in the moment, I really don't feel it at all. I've been skating for quite a while, but there are times when I'm hesitating and saying "I should have went there, or supported there."
There was a lot of offense and a lot of run-and-gun hockey that was a lot of fun to play and everyone is working so hard. It just feels awesome to be playing at 100 percent [healthy]. I definitely want to make a good first impression out here in Traverse City. We have some new management watching us here so I want to play well and do my best to find my game again. It's been a while since I've been out here, so just take it a little at a time and shake the rust off.
We have an off day on Saturday so maybe I'll have an opportunity to lay on the beach and play some mini-putt with the team and then dinner in the evening. We certainly want to win every game that we play and can. Really, when you get in the locker room with the guys, you just want to play for them, and you can see how everyone cares for each other and that's great to see.
Until next time, thanks for reading.