Examining Ryan Murphy and the like
Typically if you want something from the NHL draft, the way to get it is simple: Acquire a high draft pick. That's certainly true if you're trying to find a high scoring forward, and it holds true for most other types of players. But when it comes to offensively elite defensemen, it's not so easy.
That may be why Kitchener defenseman Ryan Murphy will likely be drafted in the top 10. Now, the huge knock against him is that he's a skinny 5-foot-10, which means he will become by far the smallest defenseman drafted in the top-10 in recent memory. But while size is a decent indicator of how successful defensemen will be in the NHL, clubs are willing to overlook that because, as ESPN Insider Gare Joyce writes, Murphy is a "game-changing offensive force from the blue line."
To see why projecting a scoring defensemen in the NHL is a particularly big gamble, you must be an ESPN Insider.