NHL Draft 2012: Why the New York Islanders Should Draft Ryan Murray

Michael DeSantisSenior Analyst IJune 16, 2012

Ryan Murray
Ryan MurrayRichard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The 2012 NHL Draft is less than a week away now. Many fans around the league are eagerly awaiting to see what possible future star their team will select.

Islanders' fans can look forward to Garth Snow standing on the podium in Pittsburgh fourth overall, following the general managers of the Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens.

There are quite the group of prospects this year. Nail Yakupov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Filip Forsberg, Alex Galchenyuk and Ryan Murray come to mind.

Ah, Ryan Murray. A shutdown defenseman, ready for the NHL, provides leadership and has some offensive potential.

Chances are, he will be still available at the fourth pick. The Oilers won't be able to pass up on Yakupov. The Jackets will need a winger to replace Rick Nash, who will most likely be leaving the team this offseason. And the Canadiens already have PK Subban on defense and need an offensive stud as well.

So if Murray is available, the Isles should definitely draft him. They are pretty offensively set in the system with guys like Ryan Strome, Kirill Kabanov, Kirill Petrov and Brock Nelson, among others.

Not to mention at the NHL level, John Tavares, Matt Moulson, Michael Grabner, Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, Nino Niederreiter, Josh Bailey and maybe PA Parenteau (if he's re-signed) make up a decent offense.

However, the Islanders desperately need a defenseman. Mark Streit is aging and is beginning his decline. Milan Jurcina, Steve Staios and Mark Eaton probably won't be coming back, and for good reason.

Murray would join Travis Hamonic, Andrew MacDonald and maybe Calvin DeHaan as the new Islanders' defensive corps of the future.

He's just what the Islanders need. A solid shutdown, puck-moving defenseman that will contribute to the offensive output as well.

If he's still available at the No. 4 pick, the Islanders would be foolish not to draft Ryan Murray.