Columbus drafted the 22-year-old second overall in the 2012 NHL draft. He has totaled 17 points this season while playing in every game.
Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen released a statement, per the team's website:
Ryan Murray is a talented, smart player who has been a very steady performer on our blue line and we are extremely happy to have this deal completed. Ryan has earned more ice time, showed steady improvement and contributed in all situations for us throughout the season. We look forward to his continued growth and development with our club.
Murray was set to be a restricted free agent after this season, per Spotrac.
Rob Mixer from BlueJackets.com notes that Murray's deal will be worth $2.825 million per year.
Todd Sharrock, the team's vice president of team communications, also tweeted out this picture of the Saskatchewan native signing his contract:
Todd Sharrock @ToddSharrock
Congrats to #CBJ defenseman Ryan Murray, who signed a two-year contract extension today. https://t.co/pZRrQBfZFG2/11/2016, 10:33:53 PM
Murray is a crucial part to a young Blue Jackets team that has played well under head coach John Tortorella, after Columbus fired Todd Richards seven games into the season, per the Blue Jackets. Murray, center Boone Jenner and left wing Brandon Saad comprise the nucleus of Columbus' front line that's gone 21-21-6 since Tortorella became head coach.
Even though the Blue Jackets are near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 48 points, Columbus has potential with its young core, beginning with Murray. His ice time has increased each month, per Hockey Reference, which comes off as a good sign to how Columbus is utilizing its young talent.
With Murray locked up the next two years, and Columbus showing signs of competitiveness under Tortorella, the Blue Jackets seem poised to be a team on the rise next year with their young collection of talent.
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