SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Ryan Murphy of the Henderson Silver Knights is the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2020-21 season.
The award was voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 28 active cities.
Murphy led all AHL defensemen in scoring in 2020-21, collecting five goals and 22 assists for 27 points in 37 games for a Silver Knights team that finished atop the Pacific Division during the regular season. Murphy’s 14 power-play points were tied for second in the entire league, and his 78 shots on goal were tied for first among blueliners. He was named to the Pacific Division All-Star Team last week.
A first-round choice (12th overall) by Carolina in the 2011 NHL Draft, Murphy signed with Henderson on August 14, 2020, after spending last season in the KHL. The native of Aurora, Ont., has skated in 232 career AHL contests with Henderson, Binghamton, Iowa and Charlotte, totaling 22 goals and 124 assists for 146 points, and participated in the AHL All-Star Classic in 2015. Murphy has played 175 NHL games with Carolina, Minnesota and New Jersey, compiling eight goals and 35 assists.
This award was first presented by the AHL in 1958-59 in honor of the late Eddie Shore, a member of both the Hockey Hall of Fame and the American Hockey League Hall of Fame who is widely regarded as one of hockey’s greatest defensemen. Shore won a total of seven Calder Cups in his career, including two as the general manager of the Buffalo Bisons and five as the longtime owner of the Springfield Indians. Previous recipients of the Eddie Shore Award include Steve Kraftcheck (1959), Bob McCord (1961, ’67), Al Arbour (1965), Jim Morrison (1966), Noel Price (1970, ’72, ’76), Brian Engblom (1977), Terry Murray (1978, ’79), Dave Farrish (1982), Brad Shaw (1987), Dave Fenyves (1988, ’89), Eric Weinrich (1990), Darren Rumble (1997), John Slaney (2001, ’02), Niklas Kronwall (2005), Johnny Boychuk (2009), Mark Barberio (2012), Justin Schultz (2013), T.J. Brennan (2014, ’16), Sami Niku (2018) and Jake Bean (2020).
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The winner of the 2020-21 Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award (outstanding rookie) will be announced Thursday.