Today is the start of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, so maybe now would be a good time to discuss another prospect? Sure! As long time readers of this blog (Hello inmates at Rockview State Correctional Institution, keep those letters coming!) know, I dislike Defensemen (for fantasy purposes) the same way Hitler avoided drafting Jews on his fantasy survival team (hopefully people are still distracted by Joe the Plumber to notice what I just wrote). It’s funny, one of my favorite players of all time is Brian Leetch, but how often do you get a talent like him for your D? Far more often, you’re happy just to get a guy with 25 points in a season. That’s weak sauce with a side of watering down.
Anyway, before I get fired by Razzball, Inc., a division of Conglom-O, let’s get to one Defenseman that may make a big impact, and he’s only three and a half years old! Okay, well, that’s not true. Like Alice Cooper, Ryan Murray is 18 and he likes it, because he is ranked #2 or #3 by most ranking agencies for this weekend’s draft. Over 168 regular season games in the WHL (from 2009-2012), he tallied 104 points (20 goals) and 107 PIM . I mean, okay! What scouts really like about him is that he’s smart and skates superbly. The problem is, those three S’s get you a pile of S for fantasy purposes.
I would not project strong numbers this coming season. I don’t think he will take that much time to adjust (he’s smart, remember!), but I’m not sure his game is going to provide value for fantasy purposes (unless you get off on a 6’0, 185 lbs man gliding across the ice, then we are talking different fantasies here). I would not reach for him in drafts, but if he falls to you, there’s worse you can do than take a chance on a hot young talent. For example, one of those worse things would be to draft Cam Barker.