First off, Tips captain Ryan Murray finished runner up for the Brad Hornung Trophy as the WHL’s most sportsmanlike player. Murray, the Western Conference nominee, lost out to Eastern Conference nominee Mark Stone of Brandon. Interestingly, Stone is the player who delivered the hit on Murray that resulted in Murray’s sprained ankle, so in a sense I guess you could say Stone has been Murray’s nemesis this season.
I doubt Murray is too concerned about not winning the Brad Hornung Trophy, however. He received quite the consolation as his agent tweeted that Murray is going to Helsinki with Canada’s team for the Men’s World Championships. Murray was invited to participate in Canada’s pre-tournament preparations, and he played in both of Canada’s exhibition games — reportedly looking right at home. With defenseman P.K. Subban suffering an injury, Canada decided to bring Murray with the team to the tournament as a contingency plan. Everything I’ve heard about Murray’s performance with Team Canada further reinforces the idea that Murray will be playing in the NHL next season rather than returning to Everett as a 19-year-old.
Now on to Everett’s more distant future. The bantam draft is Thursday, with the Tips holding the seventh pick overall. That’s the same position with which Everett selected Ty Mappin last year, and that pick looks like a good one. The Pipeline Show provided another list of the bantam draft’s top prospects, if you want to get an idea of who Everett may pick.
But will the Tips remain at seventh? I’ve confirmed that Everett surrendered its second-round pick to Portland as compensation for hiring Garry Davidson as its general manager. Also, the conditional fourth-round pick involved in the Miles Koules trade is not involved in this year’s draft. Therefore, by my count, Everett has no picks in the second, fifth or eighth rounds, while having two picks in the third round. Davidson said he’d like to get back into the second round, and that could be accomplished either by moving down in the first round or doing something with those two third rounders.
Finally, don’t expect anything to shake out with the Seth Jones situation this week. Davidson said, with the WHL championship series beginning this weekend, that he doesn’t expect anything to happen until next week.