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Penguins Camp: Murashov Has Big Decision; New Minor League Philosophy (+)

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Pittsburgh Penguins prospect goalie Sergei Murashov

CRANBERRY, Twp. — Pittsburgh Penguins prospect goalie Sergei Murashov has a looming decision, and it sounds like it will be his alone.

Despite being a fourth-round selection in 2022, he does come with some measure of hype and pedigree. In 34 games in the Russian junior league, he posted a whopping .930 save percentage. In four KHL games, he was similarly unbeatable with a .925 stopper rate.

Murashov, 20, will either stay in North America to join the Pittsburgh Penguins organization or return to Russia to sort out his contract status in the KHL. The goalie, who has some big-name idols and a tiny Frozen figurine, has a heavy choice.

“To be honest, I need to make a decision where I’m going because I have a different place (to play in Russia) for my next season,” Murashov said. “And, this development camp is also for me to watch how it works in the USA, what (training in) Pittsburgh looks like, and so on. That’s why now I can’t answer this question, but I think it will be in a few days, maybe weeks.”

Penguins assistant general manager Jason Spezza echoed Murashov’s choice on Saturday. The Penguins would certainly welcome Murashov, but any decision involving Russia and Russian players is a tangled and complex process, so no one is pushing too hard.

We might quibble with his recent tale-of-the-tape upgrade from 6-foot to 6-foot-2, but there’s little doubt he’s been an effective goalie in the Russian leagues, which you may have noticed have been producing the best goalies in the world.

Murashov is part of that pipeline, and the recent Stanley Cup champions only add fuel to that fire with a few smiles as he rattled off his goaltending heroes.

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