John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Career to date: Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins was an overnight sensation, starting 13 regular season games before backstopping the team to the Stanley Cup. Although he burst onto the NHL scene last year, Murray did spent almost two years plying his trade in the AHL—and succeeding at a high level.
Analysis: Murray’s save percentages since turning pro have been elite-level, including a .941 total in his only full AHL season. In the 2015-16 playoffs, he stopped 92 percent of the shots and stood tall when Pittsburgh needed an answer. His emergence was timely, but it is important to remember his performance was fantastic.
Basis for promotion: The Penguins signed Murray to a new deal this week, and it makes sense to project him as the No. 1 goalie for years to come. The Penguins have veteran Marc-Andre Fleury, but that problem may be solved via trade during this season. Pittsburgh will probably look for cap relief in goal and Fleury would be the obvious choice for trade.