EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New Jersey Devils have signed forward Ryan Murphy, who began his professional career in the ECHL playing two seasons with Florida.
In his rookie season in 2001-02, the 6-1 and 210-pound Murphy scored 31 points (13g-18a) in 66 regular season games and three points (1g-2a) in six playoff games with Florida. Murphy returned to the Everblades in 2002-03, scoring 45 points (28g-17a) in 58 regular season games while also playing in Florida’s one playoff game. He also played in the American Hockey League with Lowell scoring three points (1g-2a) in 12 games.
In his first full season in the AHL in 2003-04, the 25-year-old Murphy scored 19 points (10g-9a) in 71 regular season games with Albany. Selected in the fourth round (113th overall) by Carolina in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Murphy signed with New Jersey on July 30, 2003 after two seasons in the Hurricanes organization.
There were former ECHL coaches behind the benches of 14 of the 28 teams in the American Hockey League and all 28 teams in the AHL had an ECHL player take the ice for them in 2003-04. The ECHL had affiliation agreements with 21 of the 28 teams in the AHL and there were over 90 players on AHL contracts in the ECHL in 2003-04. There were more than 220 players that played in both the ECHL and the AHL in 2003-04 and the ECHL had 425 call-ups, involving 234 players, to the AHL during the regular season.
For the 15th consecutive season, an ECHL player is a member of the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Champion. In addition to Claude Noel, who is in his first season as head coach, Milwaukee had eight players and radio announcer Kyle Schultz, who are all alumni of the ECHL.