The hiring of Craig Hartsburg as associate coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets by general manager Scott Howson on Wednesday might have confirmed one thing entering the NHL Draft.
That 2012 draft-eligible defenseman Ryan Murray of the Western Hockey League's Everett Silvertips might not last beyond the No. 2 pick in Friday's opening round at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
The Blue Jackets currently hold the No. 2 choice in the Draft. The Edmonton Oilers have the first overall selection.
Hartsburg, who spent last season as associate coach of the Calgary Flames, served as the head coach of the Silvertips from 2009 through 2011. He coached Murray for two seasons in Everett, including his rookie season in 2009-10.
Murray was named captain of the Silvertips in 2010-11 by Hartsburg despite the fact his 6-foot-1/2, 195-pound blue liner had just turned 17-years-old. The move was made when regular captain Landon Ferraro, a second-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings in 2009, was sidelined due to sports hernia surgery and a bum shoulder.
"I really didn't expect it at all but I got more comfortable with it as the year went on," Murray said at the time. "Coach called me into his office one day and said that I would take over captaincy while Ferraro was out and I took the responsibility and it was a great honor to represent my team like that.
"I just kind of stayed the same way. I acted the same way towards my teammates and played the same way."
Hartsburg never wavered in naming Murray the youngest captain in franchise history.
"To me there never was a question," Hartsburg told the Everett Herald. "He's the most mature kid on our team. He exemplified what we want to be. He works hard every day, competes hard every day, cares about the team and his teammates. It's a reward for what he brings to the table."
Murray would reward his coach by leading all Everett defenders in scoring with 46 points, including 40 assists, while leading the team with a plus-18 rating.
Murray is currently NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American defenseman eligible for the Draft. He's ranked No. 2 overall behind Nail Yakupov of the Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale