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Camp invitee Matt Murray enjoys sharing name with Pens netminder

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

Penguins fans coming to UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex for the team's annual development camp this week keep getting excited when they see a goaltender named Matt Murray taking the ice.

"A few inches shorter and one number off," he joked.

This Matt Murray, who is 21 years old, stands at 6-foot-1 and wears No. 31, is not the two-time Stanley Cup-winning Penguins' netminder, who is 25 years old, stands at 6-foot-4 and wears No. 30.

This Matt Murray earned a free-agent invite to this week's Penguins development camp after finishing his sophomore season at UMass-Amherst.

"I had other offers (to attend development camps)," Murray said. "But the way Pittsburgh had approached me as an organization and the respect that they showed to me early on in the season, it was a no-brainer to come here."

The fun of him having the same name as the team's franchise netminder is just an added bonus, particularly for the media.

"It's fun. I'm used to it," the younger Murray said. "It's a good topic of conversation."

The conversation started heating up back in 2012, when the Penguins selected the older Murray in the third round (74th overall) of the draft held in Pittsburgh.

"I remember there was a little bit of fun being poked about that after his name was called," Murray 2.0 recollected.

Then, when it came time for the younger Murray's draft in 2016, the older Murray - who had just led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup as a rookie - took the time to send a note to his fellow goaltender.

"He sent me a (text) message back when I was 18 saying good luck in the draft," Murray said. "It was a really mature move of him and it was great to have something like that happen for me at that age."

While Murray ultimately went undrafted, he committed to UMass-Amherst and led the Minutemen to the NCAA championship game this past season, where they fell to Minnesota Duluth by a score of 3-0.

"Our team had a lot of success," Murray said. "I had a great group of guys in front of me and that made my job a lot easier throughout the year. 

"Moving forward, I just want to make sure I'm getting better and better every day. Being out here with the top guys in college and all the top draft picks, it's a great environment for me to get better and work on that stuff."

Just as the other Matt Murray did a few years back by attending development camps, before the back-to-back Cups. 

This Matt Murray knows he has a long way to go in his development, but hopes that if he makes it to the NHL, it happens here. 

"At the end of the day I don't think the name really matters," he said. "I would just love to play for this organization one day."

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