The Buffalo Sabres have drafted and developed a number of youngsters currently playing in the NHL (Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power, Dylan Cozens), and the club under former GM Jason Botterill and current GM Kevyn Adams have been able to replenish the organization with young prospects. Throughout the month of August and leading into training camp next month, we will rank the club’s top prospects over the upcoming weeks based on their progress in either the NCAA, CHL, Europe, ECHL, or AHL and their potential to make the Sabres roster and make a contribution in the future. Players are eligible for the list if they have not played more than 40 NHL games and are 25 years old or younger:
#23 Brett Murray
The 2016 NHL Draft was held in Buffalo and was notable for Auston Matthews being the first pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Buffalo Sabres had the eighth pick in the draft and were rumored to be interested in defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, but instead selected Alexander Nylander. That draft was notable in that the Sabres picked five players who have played in the NHL. Nylander was dealt to Chicago for Henri Jokiharju, second-rounder Rasmus Asplund was dealt to Nashville for a low-round pick and is now in Florida, third-rounder Casey Fitzgerald is also with the Panthers after being claimed off of waivers and sixth-rounder Brandon Hagel never signed with Buffalo, eventually hooked on with the Blackhawks and was traded to Tampa Bay in 2022. Only big winger Brett Murray is still in the Sabres organization.
Fun fact: Brett Murray scored the overtime game-winner last year against Bridgeport at Blue Cross Arena.
But even more fun? Only 81 days until we face the Islanders for our 2023 HOME OPENER‼️ pic.twitter.com/bYm0pEg3Cf
— Rochester Americans (@AmerksHockey) July 24, 2023
The 6’5″, 228 lb. winger was selected 99th overall out of the CCHL’s Carleton Place Canadians. After playing in the USHL, Murray played two seasons at Penn State, scored only one goal in 33 NCAA games and returned to the Youngstown Phantoms as an overager, where he scored 41 goals in 62 games. Murray joined the Rochester Americans on an AHL deal in 2019 and had 24 points as a rookie. Shortly after taking over as Sabres GM, Kevyn Adams signed the winger to an NHL entry-level contract, and in a COVID-shortened season, he scored 20 points in 27 games and made his NHL debut.
In 2021, Murray split time between Rochester and Buffalo, playing 19 NHL games and scoring 15 goals with the Amerks. Last season, he stayed exclusively with Rochester, scoring a career-high 49 points (23 goals, 26 assists) in 71 games and 10 points in the Amerks Calder Cup playoff run. In spite of being passed over by younger and more skilled forwards, the 25-year-old could still factor in at the NHL level as a depth forward because of his size and experience.