Coyotes prospect Connor Murphy is hoping his holiday season will include a nice, long trip to Russia.
That’s because that’s where the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team will compete at the IIHF World Junior Championship starting on Dec. 26.
Murphy, whom the Coyotes selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and 26 other players will try to earn a Team USA roster spot next week at a training camp in Tarrytown, N.Y.
“There will be nine defensemen there and I think that they’ll take seven to Russia,” Murphy said. “I’ll be going there (to the camp) trying to earn a spot as a defensive defenseman. I think if I play to my ability and play to my strengths then I’ll have a good chance.”
Team USA’s camp will run from Dec. 16-18. An additional camp will be staged in Helsinki, Finland, and the final 23-man roster will be announced on Dec. 23.
“It’s been a dream of mine for a while to be able to play in the World Junior tournament, and to be able to do it for Team USA would be awesome,” said Murphy, who was born and raised in Dublin, Ohio. “I’m really looking forward to getting to the camp in New York and just playing to my fullest capabilities so I can make the final roster and hopefully make a good impact and go for that gold medal. That would be amazing.”
Murphy, 19, already has competed with the letters “USA” on his sweater and fared well. In 2011, he notched two goals, including the game winner in overtime, in the gold medal game of the IIHF World Under-18 Championships vs. Sweden.