Being the second overall pick in a draft is a precarious spot to be in. You'll forever be associated with the name that is put above you. It's a lot of undue pressure.
Ryan Murray was selected with the second overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Nail Yakupov was selected right above him by the Edmonton Oilers.
Both started their careers rather quickly but couldn't get their feet under them. Despite a season ending injury in his season post-draft, Murray two years after being selected was a top-pairing defensemen with the Blue Jackets.
Yakupov is now in a no-man's land. Is Murray on his way to joining him?
What did we expect?
A top-pairing defensemen. After playing with Seth Jones at the end of the 2015-16 campaign and playing with him at the World Cup of Hockey, expectations were high.
He was a high draft pick and he had shown sparks that he could be a valuable part of the offense. He previously had received time on the power play and penalty kill. The all-around talent was there. This was the year for him to take the next step after a good rookie season back in 2013-14.
What did we get?
Not a whole lot. This wasn't through any real fault of his own. Zach Werenski entered camp with a chip on his shoulder and took the top pairing spot with Seth Jones immediately. Murray was then relegated to the third pair.
Most of the season was played with Markus Nutivaara, a rookie that is filled to the brim with potential. Unfortunately for the two, it wasn't exactly a fruitful relation ship.
In 60 games, Murray scores two goals and had nine assists for 11 points total. Well below his normal marks. His time on ice was also the lowest of his career.
Murray's season didn't inspire confidence in the player. He had shown plenty of offensive spark in the past. Now, with a new teammate as a partner, he couldn't find his footing.
His shot differential numbers were the worst of his career. It may have exposed a trend in his game that isn't very encouraging. Most of his best work has been done with offensive dynamos as partners. Seth Jones and James Wisniewski in their respective years with Murray had great offensive outputs. Murray piggy backed off of a lot of it.
Nutivaara is neither of those players but not being able to elevate a skilled player like him shows that Murray may not be a cornerstone player.
Murray is a middle pairing player who can fill in on the top pairing in a pinch. It isn't what you want out of a high draft pick. It puts the Blue Jackets in an odd spot entering the offseason.
Murray's memorable moment didn't come from a goal or an assist, it was an injury. Murray has become too familiar with them and it ended a critical season for him much earlier than expected.
Murray is stuck as a tweener and isn't a player that really has a home in the lineup. He ended up roving around. This injury did nothing to solidify his status.
According to CapFriendly.com, Murray is signed to a bridge deal with the Blue Jackets that ends after the 2017-18 season. Murray gets paid 2.825 million annually.