By Brian Metzer
Matt Murray has had an interesting ride to this point in his hockey career. He has gone from being touted as one of the best goaltenders in North America to having his playing time significantly cut when his OHL team, the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds, traded for Dallas Stars’ 2010 1st round draft pick Jack Campbell.
Murray was off to one of the finest starts in his career at the time of Campbell’s arrival, but lost plenty of starts to the elder statesman. The lack of playing time effected Murray’s confidence a bit, but he eventually worked through those issues and came full circle by finishing the season strong. He also got a chance to backstop the Team Canada U-18 team to a Bronze medal which significantly boosted not only his confidence, but his draft stock.
Bolstering goaltending depth in the organization was a goal of this year’s draft and free agency period and the Penguins helped their cause by selecting the 6-foot-4, 159 pound Murray with their second of two 3rd round selections.
Murray was a prospect that intrigued me because of his size, skill and success on the U-18 International level, so I was excited to see him join the Penguins’ organization and even more so to finally get a chance to catch up with him since I missed his scrum at the actual draft.
The Soo Greyhounds’ goalie was nice enough to take some time out of his lunch break to talk to me this afternoon and we covered a variety of topics such as:
- His roller coaster season that culminated with a Bronze medal and being selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins
- The fact that even though he lost playing time to Jack Campbell, it was a great experience overall, as he learned a lot from the Stars’ prospect
- He was thrilled to join the Penguins’ and thinks that it is a great situation for he or any prospect to be in — “It’s a top notch organization”
- Things that he needs to work on to take the next step — foot speed
- He was thrilled to take part in Developmental Camp and has learned something new almost every day
Murray seemed very relaxed even though this was his first “pro-style” camp and is looking forward to working on his strength, conditioning and game throughout the rest of the summer so that he is prepared to have a big season. Ian Altenbaugh of Hockey’s Future suggested that he shares a similar build to that of Marc Andre Fleury and upon seeing Murray in person I agree. He is tall, thin and athletic. I wouldn’t say that his speed is anywhere near where Fleury’s is, but that is why he readily admits needing to work on that foot speed.
I look forward to seeing how he fares as he heads back to the Greyhounds for another season, but it will be great to see how he performs not only in Saturday’s scrimmage, but in training camp in September when he gets to face some NHL caliber talent.
Listen to the full interview with Matt Murray by clicking the player below: