With a .923 save percentage and two Stanley Cups in his first two years in the NHL, Matt Murray ranks up there with the likes of goalie greats Cam Talbot (with the highest save percentage of .931 for his first two years), Nicklas Backstrom (who also had a .923 save percentage for his first two years), Jonas Hiller (at .921) and Eddie Lack (.917). He seemed to come out of nowhere, taking over the 1A goalie spot from Marc Andre Fleury during the 2015-16 season and holding onto it through the next season to help the Penguins nab two Stanley Cups in a row. But did Matt Murray really come out of nowhere? See where he made his stops and how he got to the NHL.
Born on May 25, 1994 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Matt Murray started playing hockey as a youngster in his hometown with the Thunder Bay Minor Hockey Association. He played for the Westfort Rangers and then moved up to the Thunder Bay Kings AAA program and led the Kings to a 3-2-0 OHL Cup record, appearing in 40 games with six shutouts.
Murray was then drafted by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection. He spent four seasons minding the major junior hockey net for the Greyhounds before being signed to a three-year, entry-level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on September 4, 2013.
Assigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Murray broke the AHL record for the longest shutout streak. Barry Brust’s previous record of 268 minutes and 17 seconds was extended by nearly an additional two periods when Murray kept the puck out of the goal for 304 minutes and 11 seconds.
But that wasn’t the only AHL shutout record recorded by Murray. His tenth shutout broke Gordie Bell’s 1942-43 season record, but Murray went on to complete the season with 12 total shutouts. He finished out his rookie season by being selected to the AHL’s First All-Star Team and Rookie Team and was awarded the Baz Bastien Memorial Award for the AHL’s best goaltender.
To see what Murray is up to for the 2017-18 season, check out what NHL.com is calling the “save of the year” with Murray’s amazing stick save against the Edmonton Oilers.