Ryan Murray to play with the big boys?

The Pipeline Show’s Dean Millard broke what could be huge news for Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray, reporting that Murray will receive an invitation to play for Canada at the Men’s World Championships.

Now I have to admit, I don’t follow Canada’s roster for the World Championships very closely. However, this is a tournament for pros. Canada’s roster is generally filled with NHLers whose seasons are over. I have to think an undrafted junior player making that team has to be pretty much unprecedented.

Then there’s the draft maneuvering involved. Hockey Canada’s general manager is Kevin Lowe. Lowe also happens to be president of the Edmonton Oilers, who own the first-overall pick in the upcoming NHL draft. The Oilers have all kinds of talented young forwards, including the past two first-overall picks in Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. What Edmonton doesn’t have is a top-notch defensive prospect to go with those young forwards. Murray isn’t rated as the top prospect for the upcoming draft, but he has been ranked as high as second overall. Hmmm …

But any way you look at it, just the thought of a draft-eligible player being invited to join that team is a big deal. It’s also further suggestion that NHL types think Murray is ready to make the jump, decreasing Murray’s chances of returning to Everett for his 19-year-old season. If Murray does end up getting invited, and if he holds his own, it’s almost certain the NHL will be beckoning next season.

The Men’s World Championships take place May 4-20 in Finland and Sweden.

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