The Portage Terriers training camp kicks off today, and one new face attending will be first-round draft pick Jordan Murray.
The defenceman is the younger sibling of a former Terrier in Owen Murray, and he was selected with the sixth pick in the first round of the 2022 MJHL Draft. Jordan says he was thrilled when he heard the news.
"It was pretty exciting to see my name pop up on the draft board, especially that high. I was with my brother and my mom in the house, and just before I left for work, we were checking out the board, and my name popped up. I got a couple of congratulations. It was great to see."
Murray spent last season with RINK Hockey Academy, where he totalled 19 points in 32 games. The Decker, Manitoba product says because of his brother's tenure in Portage, he already knows what the organization is all about and adds it's exactly where he wants to be.
"Portage was very high on my list, might've even been the number one spot I wanted to go to in the draft because they treated my brother so well," Murray explains. "I know Blake (Spiller) has been trying to win for a lot of years in a row, and he has a winning reputation. That's a spot I want to be in. I want to show up, be a competitor, maybe get a couple of championship rings, and just go out there and win. I like that attitude and I want to be in that room where they have that attitude."
The blueliner adds he has watched the Terriers several times over the years because of his brother and notes he's already familiar with the facility.
"It's a good atmosphere, especially later in the season it really starts to pick up. Everyone wants to see the team win, and everybody gets engaged. It's a good room to be in as well, the coaches want to make sure everyone is there to win and compete. It's definitely a place I want to be."
Murray says he's excited about the opportunity to put his best foot forward this weekend. His main goal is obviously to crack the Terriers roster but he notes he is also looking forward to officially meeting everyone on the staff and all the players in the system.
For anyone who has yet to watch the defenceman in action, he describes his playstyle.
"I like to be an offensive defenceman. I like to jump up in the play and be an option for forwards. I like to put points up on the board but still make sure I'm locking down on the defensive side of the ice," Murray continues. "I like to be up in the rush and get my feet going. I like to be in the action, that's for sure."
The first-round pick will be looking to make his mark this weekend at Stride Place for the Terriers' training camp.