Former Los Angeles Jr. King Murphy Stratton has committed to attend and play his NCAA Division I hockey at the University of North Dakota following his junior career.
A 1999-born forward, Stratton celebrated a British Columbia Hockey League championship last season as a member of the Wenatchee Wild - a team that included five Jr. Kings graduates.
“So many things brought me to choosing North Dakota,” said Stratton. “They're an NCAA powerhouse every year and have the best facilities in college hockey to help young players like myself really grow and develop their game so you can get better each and every day.
“But the main thing that led me there was the professionalism and principles that are North Dakota hockey. You’re there every day to grow both as a hockey player and as a student. Every day is focused on making you a better all-around person and that, to me, meant a lot.”
Last year, Stratton struck for 16 goals for 53 points in 54 regular-season games. In the postseason, the 6-foot-4, 192-pounder connected for a goal and six assists in 18 contests.
The Los Angeles native played his first season of junior with the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Calgary Hitmen - the team that selected the 6-foot-4, 192-pounder in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
In his final season with the Jr. Kings in 2015-16, Stratton, who participated in last month’s Los Angeles Kings Development Camp as a non-roster invite, helped the program’s 16U AAA team capture a Pacific District championship.
Led by head coach Brad Berry, the University of North Dakota is a member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and has won eight national titles in its history - the most recent in 2016.