2009-10: Matt Murray played in 40 games for the Thunder Bay Kings midget minor team in his hometown. He was 32-5 and had six shutouts with a1.71 goals against average. Thunder Bay represented Northwestern Ontario in the 2010 OHL Cup and in three games Murray was 2-1 with one shutout and a 2.67 save percentage.
2010-11: Drafted by Sault. Ste. Marie in the second round (35th overall) of the 2008 OHL Priority Draft, Murray skated in 28 games for the Greyhounds in his first OHL season and was named to the Canada Ontario squad for the 2011 U17 World Hockey Challenge. Playing alongside former Ottawa 67’s goalie Chris Perugini, Murray made the bulk of his starts in the middle of the season and finished 8-14 with one shutout and had a 3.79 goals against and .887 save percentage. The Greyhounds missed the OHL playoffs – finishing last in the West Division.
2011-12: The season was a bit of a roller coaster for Murray. He opened the season as the starter for Sault Ste. Marie and was ranked second amongst North American goaltenders in Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings. After winning nine of his first 13 starts, Murray did not win a game in four November starts and had just four wins the rest of the season. Dallas prospect Jack Campbell, acquired in early November, made the majority of the starts for the Greyhounds as they pushed for a playoff spot (the Greyhounds finished one point behind Windsor for the final spot in the West Division). Murray slipped to 18th in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft before he ended his season on an up note. Starting all seven games for Canada’s bronze medal-winning squad at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship, he was 4-3 with a 2.72 goals against and .910 save percentage. Murray was selected by Pittsburgh in the third round (83rd overall).
2012-13: Murray appeared in a career-high 53 games in his third OHL season with Sault Ste. Marie. He was 26-19-4 with 1 shutout and had a 3.67 goals against and .894 save percentage. The Greyhounds were second in the West Division and lost to Owen Sound in a first round playoff series. Murray was 2-4 in the series, winning Game 4 with a 1-0 overtime shutout, and had a 2.67 goals against and .910 save percentage.
2013-14: Murray signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Penguins during training camp in September and made his pro debut in April — joining Pittsburgh AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton following his fourth junior season with Sault Ste. Marie. He stopped 23 of 25 shots in his only start — a 2-0 loss to Utica. Murray stopped all eight shots he faced in his only AHL playoff appearance; relieving Peter Mannino for the third period of a 5-0 loss to St. John’s. In 49 regular season OHL games he was 32-11-6 with six shutouts and had a 2.57 goals against and .921 save percentage. The Greyhounds finished first in the West Division and reached the second round of the playoffs. Murray was 4-5 with one shutout in nine playoff games and had a 2.63 goals against and .915 save percentage.
2014-15: Matt Murray played for the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in his first pro season, splitting the goaltending duties with Jeff Zatkoff. He was 25-10-3 with 12 shutouts and had a 1.58 goals against and .941 save percentage in 40 regular season games. The Penguins finished second in the East Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Murray was 4-4 with one shutout and had a 2.37 goals against and .923 save percentage in eight playoff games.
2015-16: Murray made his NHL debut with Pittsburgh on December 19th in a game against Carolina — skating in four midseason games with the Penguins before being returned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton — and dominated late in the season and into the NHL playoffs when he was recalled in March. He was 9-2-1 with one shutout and had a 2.00 goals against and .930 save percentage in 13 regular season games. Taking over the starter’s role in the absence of injured Marc-Andre Fleury in the playoffs, he was 6-1 in his first seven playoff games and had a 1.81 goals against and .944 save percentage. Murray was 20-9-1 with four shutouts and had a 2.10 goals against and .931 save percentage in 31 AHL games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Murray is a tall, athletic goaltender who possesses immense potential. He is the type of player where the more starts he sees, the higher the quality of his performance. Murray has the potential to be an NHL starter, but needs to gain more starts in the pros and continue to improve his anticipation. He’s got a quick glove and stick, though could stand to upgrade his puck-moving ability, especially when he leaves the net.
Murray proved to be NHL-ready after dominating in the AHL for two seasons when he was called up by Pittsburgh at the end of the 2015-16 season. The 21-year-old stepped into the lineup for the Penguins with veteran Marc-Andre Fleury out and gave the team a chance to win on every night. He should only improve as he gains experience and grows physically and Murray's play to this point suggests he can be an elite NHL netminder in the future.