Sep 21, 2021

By Suzie Cool


The 2021 Buffalo Sabres Prospect Challenge came and went in the blink of an eye this past weekend, but not without some outstanding talent catching the attention of many. One of those players most definitely being forward Brett Murray.


“I trained really hard this offseason and I came in with the mindset that I wanted to be the best player out there. I’m one of the older guys that has the experience and now I have the confidence,” commented Murray after his one-goal performance that helped propel the Sabres to a 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils this past Friday night.


If Murray isn’t someone you’ve had the chance to get familiar with over the past two seasons in the Flower City, I’d recommend doing so now. We’re just not entirely sure how long he’ll be sticking around, or if he’ll even be here at all, with not just the way he performed over this past weekend but the overall transformation he’s made in his game over the last two years.


Even Amerks head coach Seth Appert commended Murray for the work that he’s put in to propel his transformation from an American Hockey League player to a National Hockey League prospect.


“We’re really proud of the work that Brett put in to turn himself from an American League player to an NHL prospect. That’s a big step,” said Appert when asked what his thoughts were on Murray’s overall development.


Appert then went on to say, “it’s a transformation in his career in the fact that he was a skilled player that was big and we’re trying to help him become a power forward who has skill. There’s a difference. What he did last year is he became a power forward. He was physical, he was demanding to play against, he won puck battles at one of the highest rates on our team and he lived on top of the blue paint.”



Looking at just the 2020-21 season specifically, Murray combined to play in 29 games between the Sabres and Amerks and was the seventh different player to make his NHL debut for Buffalo during the season. After earning his first-ever NHL recall from the Sabres on March 25, Murray went on to make his NHL debut on May 6, recording one shot over 11:10 of ice time. Murray went on to appear in the Sabres final two matchups of last season.


With the Amerks alone, the third-year pro finished the 2020-21 campaign as Rochester’s scoring champion and the team’s top point-getter with 20 points (9+11) in 27 games. Murray ranked second on the team with nine goals, which matched the total from his rookie season in 30 fewer games, and six of his nine markers came on the power-play, which was a team-best. Some would even say Murray ended the Amerks 2020-21 season on a bit of a hot streak as he had three goals and seven points over his last 11 games.


Murray came into this past weekend wanting to be a leader and wanting to be the best player out on the ice. We think he did just that. The newfound power forward exuded the leadership and confidence that he feels he’s been lacking in seasons prior and got his team on the board first in both matchups over the weekend.


Not only did Murray come to impress, but he also came to make a statement heading into Sabres Training Camp this week.


When asked about his small taste of time in Buffalo last season, Murray simply said, “I just used it to fuel my offseason and I want even more to get more than two games. I don’t want my career to be just capped at two. I want to play all 82.”


If Murray continues in this trajectory, there’s a good chance he won’t be sticking around in the Flower City for long this upcoming season. If at all.

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