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About Last Season: Ryan Murphy Performance Review and Grade

In the first year of a new contract, the Canes defenseman had another tough season.

Jamie Kellner

Ryan Murphy: 2016-17 By the Numbers

  • Age: 24
  • NHL Seasons: 5
  • Games Played: 27
  • Scoring: 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points
  • Ice Time per Game: 13:10 in all situations, 12:46 ES, 0:23 PP, 0:02 PK
  • 5-on-5 Stats: 48.16% CF, 26.3% GF
  • Contract Status: Completed first year of two-year, $1,575,000 contract.

Making the Grade

Coming into the 2016-17 season, Ryan Murphy needed a consistent, stable season in the worst way after being signed to a two-year contract the summer before. Unfortunately for both the Canes and Murphy, that season did not materialize.

The 2011 12th overall pick appeared in just 27 games at the NHL level, with seven more in Charlotte on a conditioning stint. Otherwise, Murphy spent the rest of the season either in the press box or working to come back from a couple of injuries that plagued him throughout the year. When he was on the ice, Murphy took a step backward, recording career lows in both points-per-game (.07) and shots-per-game (.63). After averaging over 17 minutes-per-game in ice time in each of his prior four seasons, that number dropped as well, to a career-low 13:10 with little to no power play time.

Some of Murphy’s advanced stats can be chalked up to just plain bad luck. Despite being deployed for a career high 65% of offensive zone starts in 2016-17, the Canes’ 5-on-5 shooting percentage with Murphy on the ice was an anemic 3.5 percent. The defenseman’s PDO, which combines a teams shooting percentage and save percentage at 5-on-5, was a staggeringly low 94.4 this season. In other words, when Murphy was on the ice, not very many pucks went in the opposing net, and too many went in the Hurricanes’ net. A progression towards the mean is likely coming for Murphy next season; it just may not be in Raleigh.

Moving forward, Murphy runs the risk of being passed completely on the depth chart by the boatload of young defensive talent that the organization possesses both at the NHL and AHL levels, not to mention Jake Bean waiting in the wings in junior. Jaccob Slavin, Noah Hanifin and Brett Pesce are all younger than Murphy but have secured prominent roles at the NHL level, and Haydn Fleury just capped off a solid first professional season for the Checkers. It is certainly disappointing that, in a season where the Hurricanes’ bottom pairing was in flux, Murphy could not outplay Klas Dahlbeck or Matt Tennyson on a nightly basis to secure a permanent spot in the lineup. Could this summer bring a move to a new organization and a potentially fresh start? Stay tuned to find out.


How do you grade Ryan Murphy’s 2016-17 season?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A - significantly outperformed expectations
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    B - outperformed expectations
    (1 vote)
  • 6%
    C - met expectations
    (21 votes)
  • 26%
    D - underperformed expectations
    (79 votes)
  • 65%
    F - significantly underperformed expectations
    (197 votes)
303 votes total Vote Now