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Strome, Murphy returned to junior clubs

by Adam Kimelman
Two players picked in the first round of the 2011 Entry Draft were returned to their junior teams Thursday.

New York Islanders center Ryan Strome, the fifth pick of the 2011 Entry Draft, was returned to his junior team, the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League.

Strome, a 6-foot, 183-pound center, was a healthy scratch for the first two regular-season games.

Also sent back to junior hockey was Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ryan Murphy, the 12th pick of the draft. After sitting out the first four games of the season, Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford announced Murphy was going back to the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.

"We are very pleased with Ryan's training camp," Rutherford told the Raleigh News and Observer. "The fact he went beyond the start of the season with us as an 18-year-old defenseman is really exceptional and tells what we think of him. He has a great future with us.

"We feel him staying with us an extra week and participating in practice and seeing regular-season games, getting a feel for the tempo of games and the tempo of practices, will help him this season and help in his development."

The return of Strome and Murphy to their junior teams comes one day after the Chicago Blackhawks sent forward Brandon Saad, a second-round pick, back to his junior team, the OHL's Saginaw Spirit. Saad was scoreless in two games with the Blackhawks, and was just the second player since the 2003-04 season to be drafted outside the first round and play in the NHL in his draft year.

Strome, Murphy and Saad were three of nine 2011 draft picks to make their team's rosters. The remaining six players are Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (No. 1 pick), Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog (No. 2), New Jersey's Adam Larsson (No. 4), Ottawa's Mika Zibanejad (No. 6), Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele (No. 7) and Philadelphia's Sean Couturier (No. 8).

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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