Who is Matt Berlin?

Photo credit:Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers
Liam Horrobin
1 year ago
Matt Berlin was one of the most famous people in Edmonton over the past few days. While the closing of the Mindbender in West Edmonton Mall attempted to steal the spotlight, even that could not overrule what Berlin accomplished on Saturday night versus the Chicago Blackhawks.
As the Oilers prepared for a goalie swap late in the third period against the Blackhawks, Harnarayan Singh and Louie DeBrusk gave us a brief introduction to who Berlin was and described the whirlwind day that he had leading up to that moment. No, he is not a Zamboni driver nor an accountant, he is a 25-year-old goaltender who plays for one of the most decorated Universities in North America, the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
The Berlin name is one junior hockey fans in the Western and Alberta Junior Hockey Leagues would recognize. Before his time as a junior player in the Western League or with the Golden Bears, he grew up playing with the South Side Athletic Club which is a spot that many Oilers fans will know. The Edmonton native was actually on that famous U15 AAA roster that included Tyler Benson, James Hamblin, and Stuart Skinner, who Berlin ironically replaced on Saturday night.
Skinner was the full-time starter back in those days, finishing with a 1.75 GAA along with a 0.929 save percentage while Berlin played as Stu’s backup during that time. He played in 11 games recording a 2.59 GAA and a 0.887 save percentage, which helped him get drafted 148th overall by the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. Two rounds ahead of him, the Chiefs selected Kailer Yamamoto with the 105th pick.
Berlin only played one game with Spokane, but that short run worked out extremely well for him as his next stop was the Seattle Thunderbirds where he became a WHL Champion in 2017. That season with the Thunderbirds, Berlin played alongside Matt Barzal and Ethan Bear, the former Edmonton Oilers defenceman. In 13 games, he finished with a 2.82 GAA, a 0.902 SV%, and a record of 7-2-2.
In his last season in the WHL, the Edmonton native played one more season split between the Thunderbirds and Kootenay Ice, now the Winnipeg Ice, before moving on to play closer to home with the Sherwood Park Crusaders. He wrapped up his WHL career with a 22-18-8 record, a 3.40 GAA, and a WHL Championship ring.
Berlin went undefeated in regulation in his first 11 games in Sherwood Park before finally being handed his first regulation loss in a tight 2-0 game versus Spruce Grove. Berlin was outstanding for Sherwood Park that season collecting 28 wins in 38 games and having a 2.81 GAA and a 0.917 SV%. He helped the Crusaders reach the North Division finals after stealing game two with a 41-save performance. After that game, Berlin received a standing ovation from the Sherwood Park Arena crowd and the arena erupted in chanting his name. In game three, he proved hard to beat again stopping 53 stops. He became part of a group that set a new standard in Sherwood Park, one that would not settle for mediocrity anymore.
His performances throughout junior earned him a spot at the University of Alberta. He is now in his third season with the Golden Bears and has a championship to his name.
Over his career, Berlin has played alongside Kailer Yamamoto, Ethan Bear, Matt Barzal, Peyton Krebs, Stuart Skinner, and Tyler Benson. Much like all of those players, he too has an NHL game to his name. While he may not get another one anytime soon, it is not out of the question that he will continue his hockey career outside of the University of Alberta. With that said, depending on how his midterm went on Monday.


NHL Totals10000.000001.000
2015-16Spokane ChiefsWHL60023317004.38112970.851
2015-16Drayton Valley ThunderAJHL160081661014.495804190.873100
2016-17Spokane ChiefsWHL100101006.0730.750
2016-17Seattle ThunderbirdsWHL130270233112.827203040.902
2016-17Sherwood Park CrusadersAJHL3001829002.97201830.902
2017-18Seattle ThunderbirdsWHL2400135977213.4012716410.893
2017-18Kootenay IceWHL131072944403.623813090.875
2018-19Sherwood Park CrusadersAJHL3800226797022.57289110670.917800
2019-20U. of AlbertaCWUAA152081426131.9210402530.907
2021-22U. of AlbertaCWUAA100592102.03010290.935
2022-23Edmonton OilersNHL10020000.0011.000
2022-23U. of AlbertaCWUAA50030313002.574011070.892

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