Editor's Note: This is a continuation of our mock draft as executed by willing members of Lighthouse Hockey.
After taking Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1st overall, Edmonton's young forward corps seems to be looking good. That being said the team's D seems to be in a bit of a Souray state (recycled joke but I couldn't resist). But the question is what D to take. At this point in the draft there are lots of possibly good defensemen with little to differentiate themselves. It was really hard to decide who the right pick might be but in the end the Oilers are going with:
Connor Murphy, defenseman, U.S. Development Program (going to Miami (OH) U in the fall).
There were lots of good, if raw, defensemen available at this spot. I could have easily gone with Klefbom or Mayfield or Musil or any of another 5 or so D men that have popped in and out of the top 30 on the mock drafts.
But there is something about Murphy that made me take the chance on him. He is currently ranked 19th by ISS and 25th (NA) by CSS so it really wasn't a stretch. The reason he's the pick is he has a growing buzz. A great combine & a great U18 (including the tournament winning goal) have this kid rising fast.
There were big question marks about Connor a few months ago. He was returning from a fractured vertebrae and missed more than half the season. This injury had made him a bit of a mystery. He was known to have first round talent but how would he heal? His performance the last few months has shown that not only is he healed he has not lost any of his ability and may actually be in even better shape than before his injury.
The RH 6'4 D man possesses a great shot and very solid defensive play. He is pretty mobile for his size (though not to the level of Dougie Hamilton). He's the son of former NHLer Gord Murphy. He has the raw skill, the talent, and the pedigree that if he develops to his full potential this could be a steal (though that is not a small if).