Matt Murray inadvertently came up with a name for a Pittsburgh Penguins sub-group that is hiding in plain sight. The goaltender, who is part of the group, called them the “middle guys.”
As in, “Everybody gets along super well — young guys, older guys, middle guys. … We’d be the middle guys, I guess,” Murray said when asked about the players who fit into a narrow age group.
Nine players on the Penguins roster are 24 or 25. They are all forwards or goalies, although defensemen John Marino and Marcus Pettersson, are 23, and another, Juuso Riikola, is 26 but was 25 when the season started, and so are just outside the group.
That’s a heck of a lot of players on something the size of an NHL roster, nearly half, bunched into birth years 1994 and 1995.
Here’s the list of the Penguins’ “middle guys,” with their age, pre-pro experience and draft history:
F Alex Galchenyuk, 25, junior hockey, Montreal first-round pick 2012
F Dominik Kahun, 24, junior hockey, undrafted
G Matt Murray, 25, junior hockey, Penguins third-round pick 2012
G Tristan Jarry, 24, junior hockey, Penguins second-round pick 2013