Devils Penguins Hockey

New Jersey Devils' Ryan Murray skates during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, April 22, 2021.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Avalanche sent a defenseman named Ryan to the New Jersey Devils in July. They picked up a defenseman named Ryan from the Devils in August.

Colorado signed free agent Ryan Murray, 27, to a one-year contract Monday. Murray appeared in 48 games for New Jersey last season and had 14 points, all assists.

Avalanche defensemen were involved in two recent trades with Ryan Graves going to New Jersey before he could be taken in the expansion draft. Conor Timmins was part of the trade package that brought goaltender Darcy Kuemper to Colorado. In addition, Patrik Nemeth left in free agency.

Murray was the second overall pick in the 2012 draft and spent 2013-20 with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has 124 points (15 goals) in 395 career regular-season games. He appeared in all 82 games in 2015-16 but has missed chunks of time with injuries.

“Ryan is an effective two-way defenseman who can provide minutes and added puck movement to our back line,” Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said in a team statement. “We like the experience he brings to our locker room, and we’re excited to see him fit in with our group.”