The American Hockey League has named Charlotte Checkers defenseman Ryan Murphy to its Western Conference All-Star Team.
Murphy, a 21-year-old who has been on NHL recall with the Carolina Hurricanes since Dec. 30, is in a three-way tie for the Checkers’ scoring lead with 17 points, all assists, despite playing in just 23 of the club’s 34 games this season. He also leads the team in power-play assists and points (7).
Carolina’s first-round draft choice (12th overall) in 2011, Murphy currently ranks tied for third among AHL defensemen in assists and is the only AHL player to hold at least a share of his team’s points lead without scoring a single goal. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of Aurora, Ontario, has 41 points (3g, 38a) in 48 career AHL games over parts of the last three seasons.
Murphy is the first Checker selected to appear in an AHL All-Star Game since defenseman Michal Jordan and goaltender Justin Peters, both currently in the NHL with Carolina and Washington, respectively, represented the Western Conference in 2013. Other Checkers who played in an All-Star Classic during the club’s first four seasons in the AHL are Chris Terry (2012), Jerome Samson (2011) and Bryan Rodney (2011). Former Checkers defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti earned a selection to this season’s Western Conference team as a representative of the Utica Comets.
This season’s All-Star Classic will be held in Utica, NY, with the skills competition set for Sunday, Jan. 25, and the game scheduled for Monday, Jan. 26.