It took overtime to decide the 2012 version of the Summit Series between Canada and Russia's top prospects, but more important to the scouts in attendance than the outcome (a win for Team Canada) were the performances of some recent top draft picks.
Canada's entire roster already has been drafted, with the exception of two young stars who will no doubt hear their names called next June. Nine of the Russians already have been claimed by NHL teams, headed by 2012 No. 1 overall pick Nail Yakupov (Edmonton Oilers). When this much talent is on the ice, expectations can be raised, but there is still the summer hockey factor to consider. Talented as these players are, it's unlikely they're playing at their peak at this time of year. So the reports you'll get aren't going to be too comprehensive. Still, there was plenty to examine when I -- and a number of NHL scouts and GMs -- took in the second leg of the series in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Here are my quick impressions on some of the standouts.
D Ryan Murphy (Carolina Hurricanes, first round/2011 draft)
Murphy was the most talked about performer in Halifax. His ability to grab the puck and skate it out of trouble and make things happen in the offensive zone stands alone. He remains an all-or-nothing type of defenseman and lacks defensive awareness but brings a lot to the table and was a threat on most shifts.
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