Earlier today, USA Hockey announced that Coyotes defenseman Connor Murphy has been named the captain of Team USA for the 2017 World Championships in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France. Murphy replaces Matt Hendricks, who captained the team last year to a fourth place finish, who is currently still playing in the playoffs with the Edmonton Oilers.
Murphy has represented the United States at the World Championships for the past three seasons, appearing in twenty-five total games. Team USA earned bronze in the 2015 World Championships, and Murphy finished with a record 3 goals and 2 assists in the 2016 World Championships.
This past season, Connor Murphy definitely struggled. Although he typically doesn’t generate a lot of offense, Murphy finished with career-lower low 2 goals in a full NHL season, yet had a career-high 15 assists.
While most players would rather be playing in the Stanley Cup Finals, Murphy clearly enjoys playing for the national team and its good to see his loyalty rewarded. The experience he gains as captain should help as Murphy continues to be a veteran presence on a young Coyotes blue line.
If you want to follow Murphy and Team USA at Worlds, their first match against Germany will air Friday, May 5th, on the NHL Network in the United States and on TSN in Canada at 11:15 am Arizona time (PST). Team USA's schedule can be found here. If you are interested in following all of the tournament action, the full schedule can be found on the IIHF website, with the listed time being 9 hours ahead of Arizona time (PST).