Thread: Speculation: Value of #1 Pick
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03-03-2011, 08:17 PM
Sore Loser
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Originally Posted by Gagnefan924 View Post
Thats a terrible excuse to why Murphy will not pan out. He really isnt that small. Plus if you watched him play, he is extremely effective using his quickness and his stick to take away his disadvantages in height. He's too shifty, and skilled to be considered a bust because of his size. Best stick handler in the draft, and probably one of the most accurate slapshots. Great speed, forwards and backwards. Columbus Blue Jacket fans ***** about not taking Cam Fowler, well folks, here's a better version. Its funny how you base your argument on a matter of a couple inches that considers someone "small" to a "normal" sized player.
I've made arguments for smaller players coming out of junior before and been completely wrong, so I think it's only fair that I offer my completely unbiased opinion on Ryan Murphy's NHL potential.

While I love his game on the junior level, I seriously have doubts about his ability to translate that game to the NHL. We're talking about a 5'10 defenseman that's listed at 160 pounds. While it's worth noting that junior teams do have big players, there is a higher ratio of smaller players in junior than there is in the NHL. That simply gets overlooked in alot of situations, I feel, when comparing an undersized player's size to other players around him. 5'10" is a HUGE difference to the average height of today's NHL defenseman. I'm not sure on the exact number, but I'd be willing to bet that if you surveyed the entire NHL, you would come back with an average number around 6'1", 210 pounds. That's literally just a guess, so take that for what it's worth.

Gilbert Brule absolutely WRECKED the WHL through his draft year and the following season, when he was sent back late in the year. When he got to the NHL, his game simply didn't transfer over - and I will make the argument that his size was the main reason for that. He played a hard checking, power forward game in the WHL (over 200 PIMs in his draft year), and simply wasn't able to do that against the larger NHL forwards.

All that being said, Murphy doesn't play that style - but, it will be alot easier for a team to throw their third line checkers out and literally just tell them to put the puck into the zone behind him and pound him into the glass, than it would for them to say that with a 6'3" defender like Hamilton. That is the main reason players like Murphy have a hard time playing in the NHL. I'm not saying he's going to bust - he's just at a much, much higher risk of doing so than some of the other players in the draft.

When Kris Russell was drafted by the Blue Jackets, I was absolutely ecstatic - more excited to see him go to the Jackets than I was any other player in that draft, because I had seen him play live and I knew that he was going to be a star defender in the NHL. One of the first things I did was tout him heavily on these boards to all of my fellow Jacket fans, I seriously thought he was the next Larry Murphy.

Looking back, I now realize that Russell was an extremely longshot to even make it to the NHL. I fear the same things with Murphy - one time into the corner with Milan Lucic on the forecheck could completely change him forever.

I'm definitely not against us taking Ryan Murphy, but if we do so, we'd better select a solid prospect in the second round, because he's far from a sure thing. Much, much farther from the NHL than Cam Fowler.

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