The WHL announced its Western Conference all-star teams and award nominees this afternoon, and Everett captain Ryan Murray was named in both.
The 18-year-old Murray, who had nine goals and 22 assists in 46 games, was named a second-team Western Conference all-star. He was also the Western Conference’s nominee for the Brad Hornung Trophy for the Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year award. Murray will be up against Brandon’s Mark Stone for the Brad Hornung Trophy.
Murray is full worthy of his nomination for the Brad Hornung Trophy. He’ s a 30-minute a night defenseman who had just 31 penalty minutes, and he always conducts himself with class on the ice.
As for Murray’s second-team status, I guess that’s fair. To me Murray is the best all-around d-man I’ve seen this season. However, he missed 26 games because of injury and international duty, and that abbreviated season warrants consideration — note that Portland star winger Sven Bartschi, who missed a similar number of games this season, also found himself on the second team. Had Murray played a full season I suspect he would have been a first teamer.
That said, Vancouver’s Brendan Gallagher also missed a lot of games (18) and still received first-team honors. No offense to Gallagher, who’s an excellent player, but Bartschi had 17 more points in seven fewer games.
Otherwise, it’s pretty hard to argue with the selections. In large part the Western Conference all-star teams picked themselves this season.