6 June 2019
Murphy is a Canadian defenseman who is as comfortable quarterbacking the power play as he is dealing out the hits. The 23-year-old Ontario native found himself flirting with the NHL at the start of last season: 2017/18 saw him debut with the Arizona Coyotes, making 8 appearances for 3 (1+2) points after he was acquired from Nashville to add depth to the AHL roster. In those games, Murphy displayed the kind of quick puck movement and offensive awareness that has characterized his career in the minors. That raised hopes that 2018 could see him win a roster spot and Murphy was one of the last names cut from the Yotes camp in the summer.
Reporting instead to the Roadrunners, he continued to produce solid scoring in the AHL before being moved to the Anaheim organization and linking up with the San Diego Gulls alongside Andrej Sustr, another summer arrival at Red Star. In California, he helped the Gulls reach the AHL’s Western Conference Finals before losing in six games to Chicago Wolves at the end of last month. It was the team’s best season in its four-year history.
As a hungry young blue liner, eager to establish himself at a club, Murphy could prove to be a perfect fit for Kunlun. And, after last season’s seemingly endless injury crisis on defense, the acquisition of younger, healthier players to the roster can only help settle the team into consistent pairings at the back.