The Ryan Murphy blog — Is this his year?

The Ryan Murphy blog — Is this his year?

Fairly recently, Ryan Murphy would have rated as the Carolina Hurricanes top prospect from a system that was light on high potential defenseman.  Fast forward a couple years and things have changed significantly.  In consecutive drafts, the Canes have taken a defenseman with a high first round pick getting Haydn Fleury at #7 in 2014 and Noah Hanifin at #5 in 2015.  And along the way a couple other skating, puck-moving defensemen drafted a bit later have progressed well.  The result is Jaccob Slavin, Trevor Carrick, Brett Pesce and Roland McKeown bring additional options closer to the NHL level.  As a Canes fan, I am thrilled with sudden volume and quality of the potential of the defensemen now in the system.  The key word is potential.  Of the group only Trevor Carrick has any significant AHL experience (couple others have 1-4 games at tail end of season), and combined they have exactly zero games experience at the NHL level.  Because of the elite talent level of Hanifin and Fleury, it is possible that they just Ekblad their way into the NHL and look surprisingly ready despite lack of experience.  But that is not the norm.  The norm is a gradual progression that sees a few of these players grow to be good NHL players, but in 2-3 years. So in a nutshell, you could generalize the group as very high on potential but incredibly light on any real experience. Then there is Ryan Murphy.  He is suddenly old news, but at least in terms of experience, the defenseman who has more worked his way toward being ready for the...