Throughout the next few weeks, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) will highlight players of the past and present who have advanced or committed to further their hockey careers after honing their skills in the MJHL.
A fixture on the Portage Terriers backend over the past two seasons, Owen Murray committed to the University of Massachusetts Amherst in late February and is set to attend the NCAA Division I program in the fall of 2021.
The 17-year-old defenceman from Decker, Manitoba reflected on his past two seasons with the Terriers and shared how the MJHL helped him develop into the player he is today.
“I had to learn how to adapt to a more mature, professional environment at 16,” Murray explained. “The high level of competition combined with the opportunities I was given helped me develop as a player and a person.”
“I was really lucky to have great coaches as well as teammates who made these last two years successful and I think they had a huge influence on my experience.”
In 85 games over these last two seasons, Murray added 13 goals and 54 assists which certainly turned heads around the league playing as a 16 and 17-year-old. This past season, his play also earned him a spot on Canada West’s roster at the World Junior A Challenge.
Looking back on his decision to play in the MJHL at 16, Murray shared some insight and advice for an up and coming player who is thinking about choosing to play in Manitoba.
“Just trust your instinct, if you feel like you’re ready to make the jump to junior and the environment you’re in feels right, then take the opportunity.”
“The MJHL is a great stepping stone in your development to the next level whether it’s college or major junior. I would also say to take in everything you’re taught, it’s a privilege to be given the opportunity to play in the MJHL so make the most of it and enjoy it while you can,” Murray concluded.
Other career accolades Murray has amassed include MJHL & Anavet Cup champion (2018-19), MJHL Rookie of the Year (2018-19), CJHL Rookie of the Year Finalist (2018-19), and a nod on the MJHL All-Rookie Team (2018-19).
Murray is also NHL-Draft eligable in 2021.