Re-signing This Dallas Stars Rookie Back Should Build Future Foundation for Team

By: Anthony Miller

The Dallas Stars made a couple of moves Thursday as they jump into the NHL offseason looking to take the next step to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Dallas’ offseason roster moves on Thursday started with the team announcing that they have traded forward Fredrik Olofsson’s rights to the Colorado Avalanche for future considerations. Olofsson recorded four points in 28 games with the Stars last season. He also spent time last season with the AHL’s Texas Stars recording 14 points in 37 games.

Another move the team made was another player who played on the Texas Stars goaltender Matt Murray to a one-year two-way contract. Murray spent most of last season with the Texas Stars recording an 18-10-5 record in 34 games. He led all rookies with a 2.37 goals-against average and was tied for second with a .911 save percentage. His 18 wins were good for tied for fourth in the AHL.

Murray did appear in three games for the Dallas Stars in the regular season last year. He posted a 1-2 record with his one win being in his NHL debut making him the first Stars rookie to win in his debut on the road since Mike Smith in 2006. His NHL stats also include a 3.39 goals-against average and an 8.44 save percentage.

Matt Murray’s Impact on Dallas Stars

Photo via Texas Stars

Looking at the goalkeeper situation for Dallas heading into the offseason, Dylan Wells is a restricted free agent for the team. They have Jake Oettinger who is their primary starting goalkeeper for the team. Scott Wedgewood remains the second option for the team after playing in 21 games last season.

It remains to be seen what Murray’s role will be with the team next season, but he might likely start back with the Texas Stars for their season. He could see more playing time in the NHL this season as well as the team wants to see what they have in him. Three games aren’t enough to make a determination on how they want to handle him.

During his time with the Texas Stars, he showed a ton of potential to be one of the better goalkeepers in the AHL. Murray shows good awareness of where the puck is always. He makes for a perfect third option for the team should injuries occur to either Oettinger or Wedgewood. For Wedgewood, he will be 31 when the season starts so age is starting to become a factor so Dallas needs someone in line for the future.

Oettinger is the clear number-one goalkeeper for the next few years for Dallas, but the team needs more consistency backing him up. Depth will be key for the Stars to make another run in the playoffs in 2024 and beyond. Murray will be a player to keep an eye out on as he could eventually fill Wedgewood’s spot as a backup soon enough.

Featured Image via Tim Heitman / Dallas Stars

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