To some it was just another National Hockey League preseason game, for Riverview, New Brunswick’s Jordan Murray it was a dream come true.
Murray’s unpredictable path to the pros finally took him to the bright lights of the NHL. The skilled offensive defencemen reached his dream to skate on NHL ice Wednesday night when his Ottawa Senators faced the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 will be a day Jordan Murray will never forget.
“Personally, it was an amazing feeling,” confessed Murray.
“There’s been many times where I have thought that I wouldn’t play pro hockey, let alone step on an NHL ice surface with real NHL players.”
“It’s nice to know that the sacrifices I’ve made and hard work is paying off.”
Murray‘s journey to the NHL and professional hockey is a story fit for Hollywood. From small town New Brunswick to the pros, Murray has taken an unorthodox path his entire career, not by design, by necessity.
Nevertheless, for one night in September, all hockey dreams came true. That was certainly the case for Tammy Murray-Yeomans, Jordan’s mother.
“I don’t know if I can answer that question without crying,” Murray-Yeomans said when asked what it meant seeing her son skate on NHL ice.
“It was his dream, this is what he talked about forever.”
Like a true hockey mom, Tammy shared a powerful, but yet simplistic message of encouragement for her son when they found out he was going to be in the line up.
“I just told him, this is it, go out and prove yourself.”
Her son did just that.
Shift after shift, #96 proved he belonged on the hallowed ice. Murray logged just over seventeen minutes of ice, played in every situation for the Sens and found himself trying to fend off the Leafs top line.
“Jordan had a solid performance against the Leafs playing most shifts against the Matthews line,” said Ottawa Senators Chief Amateur Scout Trent Mann.
“He also played on our first power-play unit.”
“Jordan continues to work hard at his game and improve each day. We are looking for him to help lead the Belleville Senators to a playoff spot in the upcoming season,” explained Mann.
It was a triumph debut, one that certainly proves that hockey dreams do come true. “It meant everything to me,” Murray-Yeomans said of watching her son play at that level.
Hockey dreams are shared, that’s what makes Jordan Murray’s journey so unique. It seemed like all of New Brunswick and all the organizations and people that Murray touched throughout his career were cheering him on.
Social Media platforms were a buzz ahead of Murray’s debut. From rejection at the Midget level, to going undrafted in the QMJHL and undrafted in the National Hockey League, to university hockey at UNB, Jordan Murray has persevered through it all, that perseverance and resilience has paid off.
Murray has embraced his unscripted journey, but one has to think Wednesday night was extra special for the twenty-six year old.
“Before the game all I could think about was my family back home watching and all the hours they have spent traveling and in a rink watching me,” Murray said.
“Once I got out there I tried to clear my mind and just live in the moment. I knew that if I was calm and confident I should be just fine out there,” explained Murray.
“I just tried to play my game. There’s a reason I was out there, so I just tried to tell myself that I deserved it and to make the best of it.”
Spoken like a true pro.
Murray was facing some uncertainty and had to weigh some options at the end of last season. The solid two-way defender’s contract was up with the Senators organization and multiple teams were interested in his services.
On June 29, 2019, the proud New Brunswicker signed a one-year AHL contract extension to remain with the Belleville Senators. A signing very popular amongst teammates, fans and the organization.
Murray surpassed career highs last season with 26 points in 54 games.
Jordan Murray’s journey to the pros just got a lot clearer. Murray is still with the Ottawa Senators, the dream continues.