In the latest installment of Isles On the Clock, we take a look at Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers (OHL).
Murphy is a defenseman with excellent offensive ability. He had a monster year for Kitchener of the OHL, scoring 26 goals and notching 79 points from the blue line. NHL Central Scouting place him at ninth in their pre-draft rankings.
There's no question he's a talented hockey player, and, if the Islanders decided to take him at fifth overall, I'd be fine with it. I don't think he's the type of player they need, but his potential may be too great for GM Garth Snow to resist.
Murphy's been hyped up, and for good reason, but he's 5'10" and an offensive-minded rearguard. The Islanders already have a few defensive prospects with those same attributes, such as Aaron Ness and Calvin de Haan.
If de Haan, who is 6'0" tall, is seen as the future quarterback of the Isles' power play, then why do we need Ryan Murphy?
I'm going to argue that, in many respects, de Haan and Murphy are incredibly alike, and, have quite similar upsides. I understand that Murphy had 79 points this season, and that's phenomenal, and I'm not trying to take anything away from him. But this was his third year in the OHL.
Calvin de Haan scored 63 points in his first season. If not for his injury, he might have usurped that mark the following year.
De Haan played 55 games in 2010-11, finishing with 48 points, a drop off for sure, but that could be attributed to the fact that he's been working on the other areas of his game, in preparation for a transition to the NHL.
He closed out the season with a plus-13 rating, a vast improvement from his previous totals of plus-5 and plus-3.
When you compare Central Scouting's reports on both players, you'll notice that most of the wording is the same for Murphy and de Haan.
NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards
"Ryan's work on the power play is outstanding, He sees the ice very well and is creative, [has] excellent passing ability and a great shot that he gets through to the net. (He's) also an excellent all-round skater. He's got real good mobility. He's a bit of a gambler. He does move the puck well, but he's going to have to concentrate on making good plays."
Calvin de Haan
NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards
"Calvin shows a lot of patience and poise for a young defenseman. He has high-end puck skill and passing ability. He has a very good shot, hard and accurate, and a very good ability to get the puck through traffic to the net. He sees the ice very well and moves the puck through traffic. His skating is excellent, mobility, agility and speed. His biggest asset is his hockey sense. He makes very few mistakes."
As you can see, regarding both prospects, Edwards talks about mobility, vision and a good shot. It appears, though, that he views de Haan as the better playmaker, while stating that Murphy has to work on that area of his game.
He does seem to say that Murphy is the better goal scorer, and he's probably correct about that.
New York can't go wrong by picking Ryan Murphy, because he's going to be an excellent player.
That being said, I think the Isles are better off with a defenseman with strong offensive skills, but, who also has size. There's a prospect who fits the bill perfectly, and we'll focus on him in the final installment of Isles On the Clock.
Stay tuned for Part IV, which will be coming your way tomorrow.
Comments are welcome.