Murray Craven was selected in the first round, 17th overall, by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft. He began his major junior career in 1980 at the age of 16 with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. In 69 games, he collected 15 points. In his second year of junior, Craven blossomed offensively, scoring 35 goals and 46 assists for 81 points in 72 games.
In his rookie camp with the Red Wings, Craven sufficiently impressed the Red Wings coaching staff and was inserted into the lineup for 31 games where he contributed eleven points. Although Craven showed signs of brilliance, the Red Wings felt he needed more time to develop and returned him to junior for most of the next two years. In his final year with Medicine Hat, Craven averaged almost two points per game, scoring 38 goals and 58 assists for 94 points in just 48 games.
Despite his obvious offensive prowess, the Red Wings sent Craven to the Philadelphia Flyers. It was a move that changed the course of his career - for the better. The deal consisted of Craven and Joe Paterson going to Philadelphia for Darryl Sittler. Craven suited up for all 80 games in the 1984-85 season, responding with 26 goals and 35 assists for 61 points. He was also instrumental in helping the Flyers advance to the Stanley Cup finals where they lost in five games to the defending champion Edmonton Oilers. In 19 post-season games that spring, Craven netted four goals and ten points in 19 games.
Just two years after that strong post-season run, Craven and the Flyers were back in the Cup final once again facing the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers. While they made it an extremely close finals, the Oilers edged out a tense seven-game victory to claim their third Stanley Cup in four years. Losing that Cup final was especially hard on Craven and the rest of the Flyers, who felt they had the team to win it all that year.
From an individual standpoint, Craven's best seasons came as a member of the Flyers. In 1987-88, he hit the 30-goal plateau while counting 76 points. He played a total of seven seasons in Philadelphia before being dealt to the Hartford Whalers in the fall of 1991. After playing for just over a year in New England, Craven was sent to the Vancouver Canucks near the end of the 1992-93 season.
Craven also played for two-and-a-half years with the Chicago Blackhawks before moving on in a trade to the San Jose Sharks for the 1997-98 season. He remained with the Sharks for three years, retiring 19 games into the 1999-2000 season at the age of 36. Throughour his career, Craven played in 1071 games and finished with 759 points.