The Columbus Blue Jackets began and ended the first day of the 2012 NHL Draft by adding some great potential talent to their team.
Using their second overall pick, the Blue Jackets selected defenseman Ryan Murray of the Western Hockey League‘s Everett Silvertips. Murray, a native of White City, Saskatchewan, had a shortened 2011-12 season with the Silvertips due to injury, but he still managed to score 9 goals and 22 assists for 31 points in 46 games, becoming team leader among defensemen in points, goals and assists. He was also a +6 and helped bring Team Canada a bronze medal in the 2012 World Junior Championships.
Kirk Luedeke, NHL Prospects writer for the New England and New York Hockey Journal, tweeted of Murray: “Murray is what you want in a D[efenseman]- skilled, character- will do whatever it takes to win. Not as high a ceiling as others, but will play for y[ea]rs”.
Speaking with media after the selection, Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson expressed his satifaction with the pick. “We are very happy to have Ryan Murray join our organization. He solidifies what we believe is a position of strength,” Howson said. “His character and two-way play will be very valuable to our hockey club.”
Selecting Murray was the end to what started out as an eventful day for the Blue Jackets. Hours before the draft, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was traded to the Blue Jackets by the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for the Blue Jackets’ second and fourth round picks in the 2012 Draft and a fourth round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Bobrovsky, a native of Novokuznetsk, Russia, has spent his two NHL seasons as both a starter and a backup. His rookie season in 2010-11 saw him starting in net in 54 games for the Flyers with a 23-13-8 record, a 2.59 GAA and a .915 SV%. As the backup for Ilya Brygalov, he started in 29 games in the 2011-12 season with a 14-10-2 record, a 3.02 GAA and a .899 save percentage.
According to Howson, Bobrovsky will be the backup goaltender for current starting goalie Steve Mason. Mason’s backup for last season, Curtis Sanford, has signed to play in Russia with the KHL.