Murray embraces idea of playing for Oilers
June 9, 2012
The last time he was in Edmonton, Ryan Murray wasn't acquainted with the negative glare of the spotlight.
After all, when he and his Team Canada teammates left for the Calgary-based playoff round at the 2012 world junior hockey championship, they were undefeated in round-robin play and had outscored their opponents 26-5. But in the semifinal against Russia, the players faltered, perhaps none more so than Murray.
The defenceman, who was back in Edmonton on Friday to meet with the Oilers prior to the June 22 NHL entry draft in Pittsburgh, struggled mightily in the playoff game. One puck deflected in off his stick, another off his skate, and on it went.
Despite Canada's dogged comeback attempt, Russia went on to win 6-5. It was the first time since 2001 that Canada hadn't played in the gold-medal game.
"It was kind of my first taste of really getting bashed. It was tough to handle, tough to overcome," Murray said Friday. "It was tough things had to go that way, but definitely a good learning experience for me. I don't want to have to learn anything more - but you have to learn to move on."
As for the Oilers, a tutorial wasn't really a requirement for the draft prospect who spent significant time in Rexall Place, first with the WHL's Everett Silvertips and then with Team Canada.
That he shares the same agent as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and roomed with the Oilers centre at the recent world championship in Helsinki, Finland, only furthered his education.
Like the players who preceded him to Edmonton for pre-draft meetings with the Oilers, Murray, too, would embrace the chance to play for a club that leans on its youth.
"There is a lot of opportunity here. It is a developing team and that would be what any young guy wants coming in; an opportunity to play and an opportunity to prove yourself and play big minutes," said Murray.
The defenceman, who followed top-ranked winger Nail Yakupov and centre Mikhail Grigorenko to town, was the last of the players the Oilers were bringing to Edmonton.
The Oilers, who placed 29th in the 2011-12 season after back-to-back last-place finishes, won the draft lottery, so they will pick first for the third straight year.
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