Penn State Hockey

NHL draft pick Brett Murray ‘ready to move on’ to Penn State

The Nittany Lions made a midseason acquisition, bringing in freshman Brett Murray. The 6-foot-5 forward had been playing for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL, but he was expected to enroll for this semester.

The Bolton, Ontario, Canada, native was a fourth-round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres last June, and the Sabres, Phantoms and Penn State coaches were all in on the discussions of the plan for Murray. The Sabres could have asked that he stay in Youngstown, instead of moving up to the college ranks.

“All parties felt he was ready to move on,” coach Guy Gadowsky said. “We certainly planned on it. That’s not saying there couldn’t have been something happening in the beginning of the year that changed the plan.”

Murray is the first student-athlete to join the program midseason, and has been practicing since Dec. 28 getting used to the team’s up-tempo style. Gadowsky said Murray will travel with the team to Columbus, but wasn’t certain if he would play. The coach called the team’s 11th freshman on the 28-man roster “good at both ends of the ice” and said he plays with intelligence.

“We want to see him play at this level before we define his game,” Gadowsky said. “He definitely brings in a lot of size, a really big body, but he is a very nice looking skater. He’s a big guy but he moves extremely well for a big guy, and he’s a smart player.”

Gordon Brunskill: 814-231-4608, @GordonCDT