Part of one of Canada’s most notable, and celebrated, hockey families, Eden Murray ponders an exciting future ahead with the dream of competing professionally in her home province. Along with sisters Kelly, Logan and Madi, these four fantastic women have woven together a brilliant hockey narrative, with every subsequent season allowing an opportunity to build on this sparkling legacy.
Said legacy will take on a much brighter luster for Eden, gaining the chance to share in the newest chapter of her hockey odyssey with Kelly. An eighth round pick by the Calgary Inferno, Eden was sandwiched in between a pair of goaltenders in said round. Finland’s Meeri Räisänen went to the defending Clarkson Cup champion Markham Thunder, while Les Canadiennes de Montreal nabbed Kelsey Neumann from SUNY-Plattsburgh.
Belonging to an exciting 2018 draft class for the Calgary Inferno that includes the likes of Halli Krzyzaniak, Rebecca Leslie, Alex Rigsby and Venla Hovi, among others, Eden was among the top 50 players selected. Worth noting, it marks the second consecutive year that a member of the Murray family was selected by the Inferno.
Taken with the 12th pick in the 2017 CWHL Draft, Kelly blossomed into a highly dependable player for the Inferno, serving as part of their defensive unit, while inspiring her younger sister, who was in her senior season with Yale University.
Prior to joining the Inferno, Kelly and Eden already enjoyed a level of familiarity on elite ice. During the summer of 2016, Kelly was a member of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) All-Star team participating at a Hockey Canada camp. While the camp served as key preparation for the CIS squad participating at the 2017 Winter Universiade, Eden was on-hand in a different, yet equally relevant, capacity.
Having once skated for Canada’s U18 national team, enjoying gold at the IIHF Under-18 Women’s Worlds, Eden was part of Hockey Canada’s training camp, looking to gain a spot on the Under-22/Developmental Team. While both have enjoyed the privilege of wearing the Maple Leaf during international play, the chance to be part of professional hockey in their home province brings with it a high significance, one that sees Eden elated at the chance to emulate her older sister,
“I am very proud to be following in her footsteps. Kelly has always been a great leader and path maker. It would be very neat to have the opportunity to play alongside her, especially at this level!”
Appearing in a total of 28 games during her inaugural CWHL season, Kelly Murray was part of a gallant gathering of rookie sensations for the Inferno. Recording her first career CWHL goal in a game that also saw teammates Jacqui Pierri and Kayla Gardner place their names on the scoresheet with their own first career goals, it stood as a proud season highlight.
Undoubtedly, if Eden gains the chance to call Kelly a teammate on the 2018-19 edition of the Inferno, it would add an even stronger meaning to the proud sisterly connection, simultaneously enhancing the transition into the professional ranks.
“It would mean a lot. Kelly is my best friend, and aside from the fact that she is my sister, she is an all-around great person to have in your corner.”
Gaining the opportunity to call Kelly a teammate would not mark the first time that Eden has called one of her sisters a teammate at a highly elite level of play. Prior to her arrival with the Inferno, Eden’s very solid background included a memorable stint with the Ivy League’s Yale Bulldogs, along with prep school years spent at the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary’s, plus the JWHL’s Edge School.
During her freshman campaign (2014-15) at Yale, it allowed Eden the pleasure of calling older sister Madison (known affectionately as Madi) a fellow Bulldog. Adding luster to this experience was an impeccable NCAA debut which saw Eden record a goal and an assist in varsity debut vs. Providence on October 24, 2014. As a side note, the 2013-14 season saw Madison and Kelly call each other rivals in Ivy League play, as Kelly suited up for the Cornell Big Red.
Despite the fact that Eden’s senior year was dampened by an unfortunate injury that shelved her for more than 20 games, there was still a proud feeling of celebration and achievement which encompassed her time with the proud program. Taking into account that there has been a handful of Ivy League alum, including fellow Bulldog Erin Duggan, along with Dartmouth Big Green alumnae Jenna Cunningham and Reagan Fischer that have donned the jersey of the Team Alberta/Calgary Inferno franchise, Murray joins a sensational sorority of wondrous women that have graduated to the CWHL.
Reflecting on the prestige of playing for Yale, Eden’s maturity and wisdom rise to the surface. Despite suffering an unfortunate injury as a senior, she never took the privilege of wearing the Yale colors for granted. From a heightened sense of family and unity in the freshman season, to a remarkable leadership role as a senior, remaining a positive presence for the program’s younger players, her character shines as one of the hallmarks of her fundamentally sound game,
“I really enjoyed my freshman and Senior Years (despite not playing for the majority of senior year due to injury). My second oldest sister, Madi, was on the team my freshmen year and it was a blast with her. Senior year was special because I think I stopped to appreciate things more, knowing that I would be leaving soon.”
While 2018 marked a pair of milestones for Eden, from graduating university to making the leap into professional hockey, her significant family ties indicates that there is also a shared sense of achievement. Sarah Murray, who is a cousin to the foursome of sisters, served as the head coach of the Korean Unified team that competed in women’s ice hockey at the 2018 Winter Games.
In addition, Sarah is part of a unique instance of six degrees of hockey separation. Akin to her cousins, she plied her trade at the NCAA level, competing for Shannon Miller’s highly dominant University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldog teams. Considering that Miller also served in the capacity of head coach at the 1998 Winter Games, there was a unique element of proud coincidence in the fact that Sarah followed in her footsteps, matching her achievement twenty years later.
Heading into training camp, Eden, and her older sister Kelly, become the latest members of the distinguished Murray hockey family to cross paths with the highly decorated coach. Considering Miller’s highly encyclopedic knowledge of the game, and her standing as a Coaching Advisor for Russia in the IIHF’s Coaching and Ambassadorship Program, it would reflect a proud milestone for Eden to enjoy her first professional season with the guidance of such an accomplished leader. In discussing if it would it be special to get the chance to play for Miller with the Inferno, Eden supplied a definitive answer, simultaneously tapping into her proud family roots,
“Without a doubt, it would be! I know that Sarah really enjoyed her time at Duluth. Similar to my family, she comes from a hockey family, so knowing that she had a good experience with Coach Miller is all the more exciting to me. It would be neat to follow in her footsteps as well.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Hockey Canada image obtained from: https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/news/murray-sisters-face-off-at-selection-camp
Photo credits: Sam Rubin and Shelley M. Swazst