Kekalainen ‘worried’ about Murray’s development after three injury-plagued years

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To say Ryan Murray’s had a difficult start to his NHL career is an understatement.

Since being selected second overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Murray’s undergone major shoulder surgery and battled through significant knee and ankle injuries. As a result, he’s only appeared in 73 career games for Columbus — the guy taken one spot after Murray, Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk, has played 169 — and now, Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen is expressing concern about just how much time his prized youngster has missed.

“I’m worried about Murray in particular. Two out of three seasons, he really hasn’t played,” Kekalainen explained, per the Columbus Dispatch. “That’s all development time. I think as soon as he gets healthy he’s got to get back to playing.”

Kekalainen’s quotes came during a conversation about potentially shutting down Murray and fellow Columbus prospect Boone Jenner for the remainder of this season. With the playoffs a longshot, some suggest getting Murray back to full health would be in the club’s best interest (same goes for Jenner, who’s only played 20 games this year while dealing with a broken hand and stress fracture in his back.)

The Blue Jackets GM wasn’t having it, though, saying his youngsters need to play as much hockey as they can.

“There is no need for them to recover beyond what their recovery time is,” Kekalainen said. “When [Jenner] is fully healed, he is going to play.

“He’s a young player and he’s got to get back to playing.”