Calgary, AB – Everett Silvertips’ defenceman Ryan Murray became the first WHL player selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft when the Columbus Blue Jackets used the 2nd overall selection to pick the 18-year-old White City, SK product this evening in the 2012 NHL Draft at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA.
Overall, six WHL players were selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, including five of the first eight draft picks: Ryan Murray (EVT); Griffin Reinhart (EDM); Morgan Rielly (MJ); Mathew Dumba (RD); Derrick Pouliot (POR) and Henrik Samuelsson (EDM)
2012 NHL Draft, WHL Players
#2. Columbus Blue Jackets – Ryan Murray; White City, SK; Everett Silvertips
#4. New York Islanders – Griffin Reinhart; North Vancouver, BC; Edmonton Oil Kings
#5. Toronto Maple Leafs – Morgan Rielly; Vancouver, BC; Moose Jaw Warriors
#7. Minnesota Wild – Mathew Dumba; Calgary, AB; Red Deer Rebels
#8. Pittsburgh Penguins – Derrick Pouliot; Weyburn, SJ; Portland Winterhawks
#27. Phoenix Coyotes – Henrik Samuelsson; Scottsdale, AZ; Edmonton Oil Kings
Ryan Murray selected by Columbus Blue Jackets round 1 – 2nd overall
Ryan Murray just finished his third season in the WHL with the Everett Silvertips. The 18-year-old from White City, SK, led all ‘Tips’ defencemen in scoring with nine goals and 31 points along with an even +/- rating while playing just 46 regular-season contests, and was named to the WHL Western Conference Second All-Star team. Murray also led the Silvertips in post-season scoring with three goals and five points in four playoff games, factoring in on five of the team’s six goals in their opening-round loss to Tri-Cities. A strong two-way defender, Murray brings a lot of elements to the table, including excellent skating and mobility, offensive ability, leadership skills and tremendous hockey sense and awareness on the ice. As a defender, Murray is highly responsible in his own end, reads and reacts to the play very effectively, and doesn’t shy away from physical engagement. His quick stick and sound positioning make him incredibly difficult to beat in one-on-one situations, and his low panic level and strong decision-making enable him to move the puck quickly out of the zone, whether with a strong first pass or by carrying it out himself. Murray’s high skill level, sharp passing skills and skating ability make him a threat in the offensive zone, as well.
What really stands out about Murray are his leadership skills and work ethic which, combined with his immense talent, make him the most well-rounded and complete rearguard among those eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft. Despite being just 18 years old, Murray already boasts a remarkable hockey resume. The Silvertips’ first-round pick in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, Murray suited up for Canada’s Under-18 team three times, captaining the team on two occasions, played for Team West in the 2010 World Under-18 Hockey Challenge, and played for Canada’s national junior team in 2012 where he was the youngest player on the team. Recently, Murray played for Canada’s national men’s team in the 2012 IIHF World Championships. Twice selected to the WHL Western Conference Second All-Star Team, Murray has represented the WHL in the 2010 SUBWAY Super Series and was also selected to the 2011 edition of Team WHL but couldn’t participate due to injury. Murray also participated in the 2012 Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects game.
Did you know…Murray became the second youngest player to ever play for Canada at the IIHF World Championship when he played in the 2012 tournament. He also joined Jonathon Toews and former Regina Pat Jordan Eberle as the only players to play for Canada’s national men’s team before playing in the NHL.
Griffin Reinhart selected by New York Islanders round 1 – 4th overall
Griffin Reinhart just completed his second season in the WHL with the Edmonton Oil Kings. The North Vancouver, B.C. product netted 12 goals and 36 points with a +23 rating in 58 regular-season games to help the Oil Kings claim first place in the overall WHL standings, then added two goals and eight points with a +14 rating in 20 post-season games to lead the team to the WHL championship and an appearance in the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament. Reinhart is a smart, dependable and intimidating presence in the defensive zone, and also boasts strong puck-moving skills and a big shot from the point. A good skater with great mobility for his size, Reinhart possesses good hockey sense and strong instincts in the defensive zone, and can make an impact in the offensive zone as well with his passing skills and heavy shot. One of three Reinhart brothers playing in the WHL, Griffin boasts many similarities to Nashville Predators’ star and former Kelowna Rocket Shea Weber.
Reinhart played for Canada’s Under-18 team at the 2011 Memorial for Ivan Hlinka tournament, winning a Gold medal, and also played for Team Pacific in the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Reinhart also played for Team WHL in the 2011 SUBWAY Super Series, and played in the 2012 Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects game. He also played for Team B.C. in the inaugural WHL Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup.
Did you know…Reinhart’s father, Paul, was a first-round NHL draft pick in 1979, chosen 12th overall by the Atlanta Flames. A possible Top-10 pick in the 2012 NHL draft, Griffin has the potential to better his father’s draft spot.
Morgan Rielly selected by Toronto Maple Leafs round 1 – 5th overall
Morgan Rielly completed his second season in the WHL with the Moose Jaw Warriors. The 18-year-old from Vancouver, B.C., missed all but 18 regular-season games due to a knee injury suffered in November, but still managed three goals and 18 points. He rejoined the Warriors for the Husky Eastern Conference championship series in late April, netting three assists in five games as the Warriors fell to the eventual WHL champion Edmonton Oil Kings. Blessed with outstanding speed and skating ability, Rielly is a thrilling offensive talent. His poise and patience with the puck, coupled with terrific vision and passing ability, make Rielly a potential future power play quarterback. His speed, agility and puckhandling skills enable him to make dazzling rushes up ice with the puck and create offensive chances by joining the rush. As good as he is offensively, Rielly is very effective in his own zone, with good awareness, positioning and compete level. Rielly played for Canada’s Under-18 team at the 2011 World Under-18 championship tournament, and also helped Canada’s Under-18 team win Gold at the 2011 Memorial for Ivan Hlinka tournament. Rielly also played for Team Pacific in the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Rielly was selected to play for Team WHL in the 2011 SUBWAY Super Series but could not participate due to his injury. He also played for Team B.C. in the inaugural WHL Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup in 2009.
Did you know…Rielly captained his Midget AAA team, the Notre Dame Hounds, to the Telus Cup national Midget championship in 2010. He posted 55 points for the Hounds that season, and was the team’s co-MVP.
Mathew Dumba selected by Minnesota Wild round 1 – 7th overall
Mathew Dumba just completed his second full season in the WHL with the Red Deer Rebels. The 17-year-old from Calgary, AB, finished second among all WHL defencemen with 20 goals and sixth with 57 points in 69 games for the Rebels this season. A great skater with strong offensive instincts and a tremendous physical presence, Dumba brings fans out of their seats with his ability to rush the puck up ice, unleash rockets from the blue line, and dole out bone-crunching hits. The WHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2011, Dumba is a dynamic and inventive player who isn’t afraid to take offensive risks but is also improving defensively. Dumba, the Rebels’ first-round pick in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, attended Hockey Canada’s national junior team selection camp this year, and played for Canada at the World Under-18 Championship. He also captained Canada’s Under-18 team to a Gold medal at the 2011 Memorial for Ivan Hlinka tournament. Dumba also played for Team WHL in the 2011 SUBWAY Super Series, and played in the 2012 Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects game.
Did you know…Dumba became the first defenceman to lead the World Under-18 Championships in scoring. The captain of Team Canada, Dumba scored five goals and 12 points as Canada won a Bronze medal at the 2012 World Under-18 Championships.
Derrick Pouliot selected by Pittsburgh Penguins round 1 – 8th overall
Derrick Pouliot just finished his second season in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks. The 18-year-old from Weyburn, SK, finished fifth on the team and second among Hawks’ defencemen with 59 points in 72 games, and added another 17 points in 22 playoff games to help the team reach the WHL Championship series for a second consecutive season. A smooth-skating, offensively gifted rearguard, Pouliot boasts excellent offensive instincts, moves the puck very well and can carry the puck up ice effectively. With excellent vision and hockey sense, Pouliot excels at making smart first passes and knowing when to join the attack. His superb passing skills and his ability to get pucks to the net from the point make him a particularly effective player on the power play. Though not the biggest or most physical defender, Pouliot continues to improve his defensive play for the Hawks.
Pouliot played for Canada’s Under-18 team at the 2011 Memorial for Ivan Hlinka tournament, helping the team win the Gold medal. He also played for Team West in the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and played for Team Saskatchewan in the inaugural Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup. During the 2011-12 season, Pouliot suited up for Team WHL at the SUBWAY Super Series, and participated in the 2012 Home Hardware CHL / NHL Top Prospects game in Kelowna, B.C.
Did you know…Derrick Pouliot is just the second player to ever be selected first overall in the WHL Bantam Draft in Winterhawks’ franchise history. The other player is Braydon Coburn of the Philadelphia Flyers, whom the Hawks chose first overall in 2000.
Henrik Samuelsson selected by Phoenix Coyotes round 1 – 27th overall
Henrik has made quite the grand tour of the hockey world in the past two seasons. Last year, he laced up the skates for the U.S. National Team Development Program. This season, he’s bounced between MoDo of the Elitserien before jumping ship and heading to the WHL, where his rights were owned by the Edmonton Oil Kings. His game is much more suited to North American-ice. He’s a gritty, physical player; frequently searching for the next big hit. He works hard below the dots and is equally proficient as a net-front presence and below the goal-line digging for loose pucks. He’s got a significant skill-base as well. A solid playmaker, his vision and offensive acumen are certainly pro-caliber. He also possesses a good shot with a quick release. He won’t dangle his way through too many crowds at the next level but he has very good hands and puck-control skills to work the power game at the next level.