The Steinbach Black Wings have found what they’re looking for in defense and have signed Canadian Matt Murphy. The 26-year-old comes to the Steel City as a former Memorial and Kelly Cup champion.
Matt Murphy began the current season with the Iowa Wild’s AHL organization, but played 13 games for the Iowa Heartlanders of the East Coast Hockey League. As assistant captain, the Canadian-born left-handed shooter was the top scorer and scored 17 points (5 goals) for his team. Things haven’t always gone well for Neo-Linzer as a team this season, with the Heartlanders finishing second last in the ECHL, but before that Murphy showed true winning genes.
As a junior, Murphy shared the prestigious Memorial Trophy with NHL superstar Nathan MacKinnon with the Halifax Mooseheads in 2013. After totaling 157 games with 76 points for the Mooseheads and another season with the Quebec Ramparts and St. John Sea Dogs, Murphy ventured to the University of New Brunswick in 2016. In four years and a total of 150 appearances, the now 26-year-old celebrated two Canadian university championships.
His first professional contract followed in 2020 in the ECHL, where he returned to the finals in his first year with the Fort Wayne Comets and was also crowned Kelly Cup champion. Over the past two years, Murphy has bounced back and forth between North America’s third major league and the American Hockey League. He made 29 appearances in the AHL for the Chicago Wolves, Belleville Senators, Providence Bruins and Abbotsford Canucks. At the start of the current season, the Fredericton-born Canadian transitioned into the system of Austrian NHL prospect Marco Rossi, with whom he shared the dressing room for three appearances.
For the Steinbach Black Wings, Murphy will use his safety measurements of 1.88m and 89kg as a safety until the end of the current season. The rookie is already on the plane and is expected in Linz tonight. Head coach Philip Lucas’ new number 22 will depend on registration patterns when it appears on the ice, which is actively going on in the background.
“Matt is a tall defenseman who works hard at both ends of the ice. We have been dealing with him for some time now and are happy to be able to bring him to Linz. After the absence of Gerd Kragl and Raphael Wolf, he brings stability to our current offensive line.
“I asked some friends in the league and only heard good things about Linz and the organization. The team is doing great and I’m really looking forward to helping them. I describe myself as a classic two-way defenseman, where I find my strengths in skating and offense.
www.blackwings.at, Image: BWL / Eisenbauer
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