June 24, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS - Miami University incoming freshmen Connor Murphy and Andy Miele as a free agent in April, while Biggs was chosen 22nd by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

With Murphy and Biggs now drafted, three of Miami's eight incoming freshmen in 2011 have been selected by an NHL team (so far) as Jimmy Mullin was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 NHL draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The RedHawks now have nine NHL draft picks on their roster for the 2011-12 season, including the three newcomers, as senior goalie Connor Knapp (Buffalo Sabres), senior defenseman Chris Wideman (Ottawa Senators) and junior forwards Reilly Smith (Dallas Stars) and Curtis McKenzie (Dallas Stars) were all chosen in the 2009 draft while senior defenseman Will Weber and senior forward Trent Vogelhuber were both taken by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2007 draft.

In each of the last two seasons, both Murphy and Biggs played for the U.S. National Team Development Program. In 2010-11, Murphy, a native of Dublin, Ohio, played just nine games for the USNTDP U-18 team during the United States Hockey League (USHL) season, missing much of the year with an injury. The 6-foot-3 defenseman tallied three goals and added an assist for four points while posting a +6 rating in those contests. Murphy also helped Team USA capture gold for the third straight year at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's U-18 World

Connor Murphy

Championships in Germany in April, as he scored two goals in the championship game, including the game-winner in overtime, and added an assist, earning him Player of the Game honors.

Tyler Biggs

Biggs, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, was also on Team USA with Murphy at the IIHF U-18 World Championships, leading the Stars and Stripes to gold. He served as the captain for Team USA and scored the game-winning goal in overtime in the U.S.'s 5-4 semifinal win over Canada. The 6-foot-2 forward played in 20 games for the USNTDP U-18 team during the 2010-11 USHL season, tallying 11 points on seven goals and four assists with a +8 rating. Overall, he played in 48 games for the U-18 squad in 2010-11, posting 28 points, including 17 goals. He had three game-winning goals and also led the team with 112 penalty minutes.

Murphy and Biggs are the 53rd and 54th RedHawks in program history to be selected in the NHL Draft. Miami has now had at least one current or future player taken in the NHL draft every year since 2001, including three who played in the NHL this past season (Ryan Jones with the Edmonton Oilers, Alec Martinez with the Los Angeles Kings and Tommy Wingels with the San Jose Sharks). Overall, 22 current or future RedHawks have been drafted during head coach Enrico Blasi's tenure at Miami.

The 2011 NHL Draft continues Saturday at 11 a.m. ET from the Xcel Energy Center with rounds two through seven (all remaining rounds), when a few other incoming RedHawk freshmen are expected to be drafted.