Saginaw, MI – Saginaw Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill announced Sunday a trade acquiring overage Defenseman Justin Murray from the Barrie Colts in exchange for Ryan Stepien and a fifth round pick in 2020 (BAR).
“As an organization we are very excited to add a player of Justin’s character and ability to the Spirit organization,” said Drinkill. “We feel that he can provide offense from the back-end while providing us very strong defensive play and grit as well. Two-way defensemen in this league with experience and leadership are hard to find, so we are excited to be adding him to our group.”
Murray, 20, is in his fourth OHL season, after being selected by the Barrie Colts in the eighth round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection Draft. The London, Ontario native is coming off his most successful OHL season in 2017-18, where he scored six goals and added 25 assists for 31 points. The veteran has appeared in 221 OHL games and was the captain of the Barrie Colts squad.
This season, the 6’0, 189-pound Murray, has already tied a career-high with six goals and added 11 assists for 17 points in 28 games.
Heading into the 2016 NHL Draft, Murray was ranked #137 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Stepien, 17, is in his second OHL season after being taken by the Spirit in the third round, 41st overall of the 2017 Under-17 OHL Priority Selection. The Hamilton, Ontario native played in 68 games for the Spirit, scoring 11 goals and adding nine assists. Stepien is eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft.
“We wish Ryan nothing but the best in the future and thank him for the time he spent with the Saginaw Spirit family,” said Drinkill.
Murray will make his Spirit debut Sunday afternoon when the Spirit visit the Mississauga Steelheads.