The Carolina Hurricanes have re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Ryan Murphy to a two-year contract, according to the team.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) July 14, 2016
The Murphy signing takes care of all the pending the RFAs that the Hurricanes had. They also inked Keegan Lowe, Dennis Robertson, Brody Sutter and Brendan Woods to one-year, two-way deals on Thursday.
Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis talked about the signing in the team’s press release on Thursday.
“Ryan is still a young player at 23, and has shown he can contribute offensively from the blue line,” said Francis. “He has developed through our system and we look forward to seeing his game continue to grow.”
The contract will pay Murphy a total of $1.575 million over the next two seasons, breaking down to $750,000 in 2016-17 and $825,000 in 2017-18. It is a one-way contract.
Murphy skated in 35 games last season with the Hurricanes, tallying 10 assists and a minus-1 rating. In 124 NHL games dating back to 2013, he has netted six goals and 35 total points.
Murphy was an AHL all-star in 2014-15. He played in 25 games with the Charlotte Checkers that season and had 17 points. In 82 AHL games, he has tallied an impressive 65 points.
The offensive defenseman was drafted by Carolina with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He played four seasons with the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League prior to turning pro. He served as an alternate captain in 2011-12 and captain 2012-13.
What the Ryan Murphy Signing Means for the Hurricanes
Ryan Murphy will likely serve as Carolina’s sixth defenseman in 2016-17. The skilled blueliner has not been able to stick in the NHL yet, but both the team and the player will hope to change that this upcoming season.
He has been an all-star caliber player in the AHL every year, but in the NHL, he has been a mistake prone defenseman who hasn’t been able to make up for his lack of defensive reliability.
Despite his struggles, his advanced numbers in the NHL haven’t been bad at all. He’s great at driving the puck up the ice and he scored a 51.9 Corsi-for percentage last season.
This year could be the year that Ryan Murphy sticks in the NHL and is appreciated for his offensive abilities. He will likely be on Carolina’s opening night roster and a common feature on the man advantage. The Hurricanes need his offense to translate in a big way at the NHL level.
The deal is incredibly cap friendly and serves as a “show me” type deal. Murphy has gotten a one-way deal, now it’s time for him to prove that he can be a true NHLer.