After spending seven years trying to break his way into an NHL lineup, Ryan Murphy, has decided to leave North America. The defenseman has decided to head over to the KHL as Igor Eronko of NHL.com reports that the 26-year-old has agreed to a one-year pact with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.
Murphy, who was the 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, has never managed to earn himself a full-time NHL role. Murphy has only played in 175 NHL contests in his seven years in the league, the most being with Carolina, where he was a part-time player, but always spent a large chunk of his seasons in the AHL. However, he had a rough season this past year after signing a one-year, two-way deal with the Minnesota Wild. Murphy started his season with the Iowa Wild in the AHL and did make two appearances with Minnesota, but was traded after the all-star break to New Jersey. Minnesota, who was desperately looking for defensive depth at this point in the year, didn’t think that Murphy was part of their solution and went out and acquired a number of depth defensemen, including Brad Hunt and Anthony Bitetto, prompting the team to ship out Murphy. He didn’t fare much better in New Jersey. He played just one game for the Devils before sent back to the AHL where he played 23 games for Binghamton, He finished the season there with 10 assists there and a career-worst minus-16 plus-minus rating.
In the KHL, he will join former Iowa Wild teammate Zack Mitchell, who signed with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk earlier this summer, and will hope to play regular minutes for a team that missed out on the playoffs last season.