Blessed with extraordinary talent all throughout organization, one prospect many may not have heard much about is goaltender Matt Murray.
Tops in the entire Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for netminders, the 19-year-old Murray is exceeding at a high-level for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds — who are atop the West Division in the Western Conference.
Selected by the Pens’ in the third-round (83rd overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Murray has flown under the radar and is performing as if he should of been a first-rounder. Leading the OHL in goals-against-average (2.34), save percentage (.926), and tied for shutouts (3), Murray currently boasts a record of 13-4-2 through 19 contests.
Honored as OHL Player of the Week for the period of Nov.3-Nov.9, Murray went 3-0 with a tremendous 1.62 goals-against-average and an outstanding .945 save percentage. But with numbers like he has, it’s a little surprising he’s only won this award just once.
Due to his superior play this season, Murray was also named to Team OHL for the SUBWAY Super Series against the Russian National team — which began this past Monday.
Listed at 6-foot-5 and 171-pounds, his size was without question a big reason why Pittsburgh drafted him. A tall statuesque stonewaller in net, Murray has logged a lot of minutes so far this season (1,152), and explains how durable he can be. He still has to finish-out the season unscathed; however, should he last the entire 2013-14 campaign, his numbers could potentially play a role in his NHL roster chances next year.
In all likelihood, Murray will almost definitely be on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton roster for next season. And although he’ll probably has a ways to go before he can prove himself in the NHL, Murray’s outlook is sky-high right now.
Murray isn’t the only Pens’ goaltending prospect though, so the organization will have their options at that position. As of right now, however, you can say Murray has a leg-up on the other hopefuls.
He’ll most likely be in net for Team OHL when they play the Russian National Team, Thursday in Oshawa, Ontario.