The quick answer to that question is size and unorthodox style.
Murphy has a very unique way to play the game and not being a 6'2+ height really hurt his draft stock. So much, that he was passed up on the very first draft eligible year.
It will be a very decisive year for Murphy as he is pencilled to be Albany's starting goaltender. I think hes one of he most exciting goalie prospects out there and I really hope he can make it to the big leagues because his attitude is tremendous. Everywhere he has gone he has been a great success and yet, everyone keeps questionning his potential. How he was not picked to go to WJC camp last year still mindboggles me.
Mike Murphy has what you would generally call "poor fundamentals" in terms of his approach in net. As a reflex goaltender, he has been known to flash certain parts of the net to shooters and challenge them to beat him to the spot. What is amazing about him is his uncanny ability to actually keep the puck out of the net, but when professional scouts look at how he plays and the angles he takes on pucks they cringe. The Tim Thomas comparison is not that far off in terms of style. It seems at times he is unnecessarily flashy and has a bit of a chip on his shoulder in net.
In terms of his base skill set to be an impact goaltender, he has it all. In terms of the mentality he needs to be a successful professional that remains to be seen. Will he be able to be coached away from depending so highly on his athleticism? Nobody knows. However, early word is that working with Tom Barrasso has really helped him. One thing is for sure in my mind, and it's that he's going to have to be humbled a time or two by professional shooters before he totally abandons his kamikaze style.
He is scheduled to split time with Justin Peters in Albany in a 1A and 1B type situation and it will be a good test for him. He'll be behind a strong defense and a strong offense, so his chances are as good as he wants them.
One thing is for certain, and it's that he's incredible to watch. Look up some videos on youtube and you'll see what i'm talking about. Some of the saves he makes are just ....other worldly. It will be interesting if he does pan out considering his style is the antithesis of Cam Ward who is Captain Fundamentals.
Murphy's always going to be one of those goalies that'll either be a human highlight reel, or he'll look bad at the next level.
He's actually improved considerably in his technical game over the past couple of years, so he's not quite the flopper he used to be. But his size, coupled with his still-questionable fundamentals, scares teams.
I've been a huge fan of Murph's since he became the starter in Belleville. But I'm just not sure his unorthodox style will allow him to be successful at the NHL level.