Yesterday, the Jackets took the biggest step in reshaping their franchise when they traded captain Rick Nash to the New York Rangers for three players and a first-round draft pick.
The Blue Jackets will now look to take the next step in turning things and took a big step for their future today.
According to the Columbus Blue Jackets" href="http://bluejackets.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=638450&navid=DL%7CCBJ%7Chome">Blue Jackets website, the team has announced that it has signed first-round draft pick, defenseman Ryan Murray, to a three-year entry level contract.
Murray was the top-ranked defenseman in this year's draft class and is believed to be NHL-ready.
Last season with the WHL's Everett Silvertips, Murray recorded nine goals and 31 assists, which was tops among club defensemen—even in an injury-shortened season.
Scouts raved about Murray's consistency as well as his skating abilities before he was selected second overall by Columbus.
"The 6-foot, 201-pound Murray might not be the flashiest performer available among what many consider to be a deep and talented group of defensemen eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft, but he might be the most consistent."
"Murray is a great skater with excellent lateral movement, and sees the game well as plays develop around him. He is a very capable playmaker and can effectively jump into or lead the rush up the ice. With a heavy shot from the point, it certainly appears that Ryan Murray has all of the tangibles that NHL teams love to build around on their blueline"
If Murray begins the season in Columbus, there is a chance he could get some time on the second and third pairings alongside Fedor Tyutin and newly-acquired Adrian Aucoin.
The 18-year-old will help solidify the Jackets defense as their strongest position heading into the 2012-2013 season with players like Jack Johnson and James Wisniewski leading the way.
With Nash no longer in Columbus, the Jackets will begin the next chapter in their short time as a franchise. And, with Murray now under contract, the future on the blue line looks bright.
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