By Jordan Ercit
Kitchener Post staff
Ryan Murphy believes the pieces are in place for his final shot at the Canadian under-20 men’s hockey team.
The 19-year-old Aurora native is hoping the third time is the charm when he joins 37 of the top junior-aged players in the nation at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary to compete for a spot on the world junior squad.
Murphy heads into the three-day camp in his final year of eligibility and with his Kitchener Rangers skipper, Steve Spott, heading up the coaching staff for the Canadian world junior team.
The Carolina Hurricanes prospect also intends to let his game do the talking this time around. Last year, he went into camp “thinking that they knew what I could do offensively and I had to prove to them my defensive skills.
“It’s such a hard team to make and there’s so many great players in this country,” he said. “Maybe I came out a bit short and maybe I should have stuck to my game, but who knows what could have happened.”
This year’s camp roster is no pushover as well, with returning defencemen Scott Harrington of the London Knights and Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara Ice Dogs headlining a host of NHL-drafted blueliners.
Murphy is one of six first-round picks on the blueline, which also includes Hamilton, Mathew Dumba, Derrick Pouliot, Griffin Reinhart and Morgan Rielly, while four others are second-rounders.
Kitchener’s Mark Scheifele, of the Barrie Colts, is one of four returning forwards on the selection camp roster along with Niagara’s Ryan Strome, Boone Jenner of the Oshawa Generals and Jonathan Huberdeau of the St. John Sea Dogs.
The six-foot-three Winnipeg Jets prospect is having a career year for the Eastern Conference-leading Colts, with 21 goals and 23 assists in 27 games.
The world juniors are Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Ufa, Russia.
Canada won bronze last year in Calgary and Edmonton.