The Carolina Hurricanes have recalled Checkers defenseman Ryan Murphy, who enjoyed an extremely productive offensive stretch during his time with Charlotte.
Murphy, the Hurricanes’ first-round pick in 2011 (12th overall), scored 18 points in just 16 games with the Checkers after spending the first four months of the season in Carolina. His 17 assists are the most by any defenseman this season and are a new franchise record for most by a rookie blueliner.
Meanwhile, Murphy’s active 11-game point streak (1g, 13a) is the longest by an AHL defenseman this season and ties a two-year old franchise record set by Bobby Sanguinetti. His active 11-game assist streak is the longest by an AHL defenseman since 2008-09 and longest by any player in the league since 2011-12.
All in all, the Hurricanes’ purpose of sending Murphy to Charlotte to gain more confidence offensively seems to have been achieved. Exactly half of his points this season (9a) came on the power play, an area of specific focus.
The 20-year-old’s recall, which comes on the heels of an injury to former Checker Justin Faulk, leaves Charlotte with six defensemen, though fellow rookie Keegan Lowe was not healthy for part of the team's now-concluded, four-game road trip. It is the second key loss for the Checkers in as many days, a number that could actually have been higher if not for a relatively quiet trade deadline in Carolina, as goaltender Justin Peters officially concluded his conditioning stint on Wednesday.
In town for less than 48 hours, the Checkers, winners of three straight games, will practice Thursday before flying out to play the San Antonio Rampage and Texas Stars twice each over the next week, beginning with a Friday game in San Antonio.
- Written by Paul Branecky