EVERETT – Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray has more hockey to play before the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, as Hockey Canada today announced that Murray will travel to Europe with the National Men's Team for a pre-competition camp and exhibition games leading up to the 2012 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
The camp starts Friday in Zurich, Switzerland and features Canada playing a pair of exhibition contests against the Swiss National Team on Sunday and Tuesday. Murray is the first undrafted player to accompany Team Canada for World Championship activities since goaltender Jamie Storr in 1994; one year after winger Paul Kariya in 1993. Murray and defenseman Adam Mitchell (who plays professionally in Germany) are the only players attending Canada’s camp who do not currently play in the National Hockey League. The two will practice with the team in Kloten, Switzerland and may participate in the two exhibitions, but are not part of Canada’s World Championship roster at this time.
Murray, 18, is no stranger to donning the Maple Leaf for Team Canada, having competed in this year’s World Junior Championships, the 2010 and 2011 Under-18 World Championships and the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. The White City, Saskatchewan native is projected to be among the first players chosen in the NHL Entry Draft in June after being ranked second among all eligible North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Despite being limited to 46 games this season due to injury and the World Juniors, the Silvertips’ captain paced all Everett defensemen and ranked seventh on the team in scoring with 31 points (9g/22a). He then led the club in playoff scoring with five points (3g/2a) in four postseason games. Murray has been a Second Team WHL All-Star in each of the past two seasons and is this year’s Western Conference finalist for the WHL’s 2012 Most Sportsmanlike Player Award. He also played in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in February.
The 2012 IIHF Men’s Hockey World Championship opens next Friday, May 4 and runs through May 20 in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. Rosters for Canada and many other world hockey powers are comprised almost exclusively of NHL players whose teams did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs or were eliminated in the first round.
Canada’s World Championship roster is stocked with former WHLers, including forwards Jamie Benn (Kelowna), Jordan Eberle (Regina), Ryan Getzlaf (Calgary), Evander Kane (Vancouver), and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer), defensemen Jay Bouwmeester (Medicine Hat), Duncan Keith (Kelowna), Dion Phaneuf (Red Deer) and Luke Schenn (Kelowna), and goaltenders Devan Dubnyk (Kamloops) and Cam Ward (Red Deer).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)