Arctic Ice Hockey's First Annual NHL Mock Draft: Pick #4

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: A banner is displayed at the Xcel Energy Center before the start of day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hey all! Welcome to Arctic Ice Hockey's first annual NHL Mock Draft. Over the next thirty days, Ryan, Tim and myself will attempt to telepathically channel the minds of NHL General Managers as they complete their final rankings in preparation for the 2012 NHL Draft being held June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA.

In some instances, our analysis will require less insight than others *cough* *Edmonton* *cough*.

So without further adieu, we present our loyal readers with the fourth overall pick of Arctic Ice Hockey's 2012 Mock Draft.

Garth Snow: With the fourth overall selection in this years draft, the New York Islanders are pleased to select...


Ryan Murray

Defenseman / Everett Silvertips - WHL

6-0

September 27 1993
Hometown: White City, SK

Shoots: Left



GP G A P +/- PIM
2011-12 Everett Silvertips (WHL) 46 9 22 31 0 31

Rankings: CSS (2 NA), ISS (3), TSN (12), Hockey Prospectus (8)

The Skinny: Over the past five years, It's been a slow and steady rebuild for the New York Islanders. For a team who has drafted in the top ten each of the past four years -- including John Tavares first overall -- the Islanders have been another team who's on-ice results have struggled despite years of high draft picks. While their goaltending situation has been problematic since re-signing the oft-injured Rick DiPietro to a fifteen year contract, the same can be said of the state of their blue-line. Save for the 2009 Draft when they chose Calvin de Haan with the twelfth pick -- second to the aforementioned Tavares -- you'd have to go all the way back to 1997 for the last time they spent a first round pick on a rearguard (Eric Brewer). With Murray, the Isles get a two-way defenseman who projects to be an NHL regular in the next two years. Alongside Travis Hamonic, Murray will go a long way to bolstering a unit which currently features three impending unrestricted free agents in Mark Eaton, Steve Staios and Milan Jurcina.

Hockey Prospectus:

[Murray] is advanced beyond his years with well above-average hockey sense and the rare kind of game-processing ability and vision that makes him a significant two-way threat even without elite offensive tools. Murray is a great presence on the back-end with the puck because he rarely makes a mistake and even though he doesn't limit himself to the basic plays, he not will force the big passes if they are not there. He doesn't get rushed by opposing forechecks and is one of the best outlet passers in this draft. Murray makes smart reads defensively, takes his assignments well, and will not shy from using his body to separate his check from the puck. He's an above-average to plus skater although he isn't the kind of player to threaten regularly with a speed game on the rush, rather he relies on a great first step and all-around mobility to keep the play in front of him and close on the puck. Murray's puck skills are solid, and while he's not a dangler, he can certainly hold his own in open ice. On the power play, he is a pass-first guy who makes the smart plays and the difficult passes with consistency. He also has a pretty hard shot and can wire it through legs when he needs to. While Murray does not project as an elite prospect, he has a low risk tag on his projection. He will be the kind of player to log over 20 minutes a game while playing tough minutes against the opposition's best players while still managing to put up impressive possession numbers. - Corey Pronman

AIH Draft Board

Pick Team Player Pos Nationality Amateur Club
1 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov
LW RUS Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2 Columbus Blue Jackets
Mikhail Grigorenko C RUS Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
3 Montreal Canadiens Alex Galchenyuk C USA Sarnia Sting (OHL)
4 New York Islanders Ryan Murray D CAN Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Community Draft Board

Pick Team Player Pos Nationality Amateur Club
1 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov
LW RUS Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2 Columbus Blue Jackets Mikhail Grigorenko C RUS Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
3 Montreal Canadiens Alex Galchenyuk C USA Sarnia Sting (OHL)
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