Growing up on his family’s potato farm, Logan Kelly-Murphy knows all too well the importance of hard work.
Along with his own contributions, the 18-year-old watched his family put in countless hours to keep things moving smoothly.
When the China Point, P.E.I., native began playing hockey, he transferred his work ethic from the farm to the ice with the goal of helping his team find success.
“I always put in my best effort on the ice and never gave up,” said Kelly-Murphy. “I’ve always had a good work ethic and I think I show that on the ice.”
Today, Kelly-Murphy is playing with the Cape Breton Eagles, but his path to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League wasn’t as clear-cut as some players.
The defenceman played his youth hockey with the Pownal Minor Hockey Association, before joining the Eastern Express of the P.E.I. Major Bantam ‘AAA’ Hockey League.
He played two years with the Express before earning a spot on the Charlottetown Pride — now known as the Charlottetown Bulk Carrier Knights — of the New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island Major Midget Hockey League.
In his rookie campaign with the Pride, Kelly-Murphy recorded three assists but unfortunately didn’t hear his name called during the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft.
“I was disappointed with not getting picked, but I just kept working hard and hoped to be drafted the next year,” said Kelly-Murphy.
As was the case with 2017, Kelly-Murphy didn’t get selected by a QMJHL team in his second year of major midget hockey. However, he was drafted in the second-round of the Maritime Junior Hockey League Entry Draft by the Campbellton Tigers.
“Going into my second year and later Tigers training camp, it was always in the back of my mind that I had something to prove,” said Kelly-Murphy, who considers himself to be a defensive defenceman.
“I always knew I wanted to prove people wrong, and despite not being drafted, I’ve finally reached one of my goals of playing major junior.”
- Hometown: China Point, P.E.I.
- Age: 18
- Position: Defenceman
- Team: Cape Breton Eagles (QMJHL)
- Height: 6’1”
- Weight: 173
- QMJHL Draft: Undrafted – Free agent invited to Cape Breton camp in 2019
- NHL Draft: Undrafted
In his first and only season in Campbellton, Kelly-Murphy appeared in 45 regular season games, recording eight assists and 37 penalty minutes.
He would also suit up for 15 playoff games with the Tigers, who would eventually lose in four games to the Yarmouth Mariners in the MHL final.
“We were up against some tough competition in all three rounds and we ended up having to do a lot of travelling in a short period of time,” said Kelly-Murphy of the playoff run.
“It was a great experience playing in Campbellton and learning how to play against older and bigger guys every night; it was a learning curve for sure.”
During the offseason, Kelly-Murphy received a phone call from Eagles’ Maritimes head scout Jonathan Murphy in June, inviting him to attend the team’s training camp.
“I was pretty surprised with the call,” said Kelly-Murphy, who at the time of the call was working on the farm. “I had hoped for a call, but I wasn’t expecting it in June, but it all worked out.”
Kelly-Murphy was one of six free agents invited to the Eagles training camp in August.
He had a strong showing at camp and impressed head coach Jake Grimes and the coaching staff, earning himself a spot on the team’s 2019-20 roster.
Kelly-Murphy credits his time in Campbellton with helping him be prepared to make the move to major junior hockey.
“It was the bridge between junior ‘A’ and major junior,” said Kelly-Murphy. “Major junior is faster than junior ‘A’, but junior ‘A’ is faster than major midget, so it was great for my development.”
In 21 games this season, Kelly-Murphy has one goal and one assist along with 10 penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating.
Because of an upper-body injury to defenceman Adam McCormick, Kelly-Murphy has been paired up with Jarrett Baker on the Eagles blue-line for the past few games.
“I’m more used to the speed and the skill of the game at the major junior level,” said Kelly-Murphy of his adjustment to the league.
“I realized quickly it was more fast and skilled than what I was used to, but I’ve continued to work on my game.”
Kelly-Murphy and the Eagles were on the ice Friday against the Halifax Mooseheads in Halifax. The score result was not available at press time.
Cape Breton and Halifax will meet again on Saturday to finish the two-game home-and-home series. Game time is 7 p.m. at Centre 200 in Sydney.
As for Kelly-Murphy, he isn’t taking his time with the Eagles for granted.
“I’m always trying to improve and that will never stop,” said Kelly-Murphy. “I know I have to continue to work hard and do the little things right — it will be the key to my success.”