With the rest of the league preparing for a summer tournament, the Buffalo Sabres are focused on next season. Today, they added some prospect depth, signing Brett Murray to a two-year entry-level contract. Murray earned himself this deal with a strong rookie season for the Rochester Americans in 2019-20.
Murray, 22, was a fourth-round pick of the Sabres in 2016 and had quite the winding road to professional hockey. He first went to the USHL following his draft, playing 27 games for the Youngstown Phantoms in 2016. After producing at that level he decided to enroll early at Penn State and joined the college hockey program for the second half of 2016-17. Unfortunately, that proved to be a mistake, as Murray struggled to keep up and recorded just a single point in 12 games. He returned the next season and continued to fail offensively, leading to a decision to leave Penn State in 2018.
He returned to the USHL for a year while he waited out a transfer to Miami University, but after dominating the junior league to the tune of 41 goals and 75 points in 62 games, he ended up signing an AHL contract with Rochester instead of returning to the NCAA. Murray actually saw his exclusive draft rights with the Sabres expire a few months ago, but will remain in the organization with this new entry-level deal.
In 55 games for Rochester he scored 24 points and will likely be back in the minor leagues developing his game next season. The 6’5″ forward has a chance to be a difference-maker at that level, but his NHL future is still unclear.