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Penguins goaltending prospect Jarry is showing promise in net

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 9:40 p.m.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Tristan Jarry blocks a shot during the Prospect Developement Camp on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.

The education of Tristan Jarry took significant strides this spring.

Jarry, the Penguins' second-round pick in 2013, led the Edmonton Oil Kings to the Western Hockey League championship and then the Memorial Cup title, solidifying himself as one of junior hockey's finest goaltenders.

Such an experience, the Penguins believe, only enhances Jarry's credentials.

“The experience that he went through is only going to be a good thing,” goaltending coach Mike Bales said. “He was already a confident kid, but winning the Memorial Cup is the kind of stuff that builds even more character and even more confidence.”

Jarry won 44 games in Edmonton after being drafted by the Penguins, who selected him even though he never had been the Oil Kings' starter. In his first year as a starter, Jarry became the star the Penguins envisioned when they moved up in the second round to draft him.

The 19-year-old acknowledges a confidence boost from the Memorial Cup triumph — he backstopped a triple-overtime victory in the semifinals against Val-d'Or before beating Guelph in the championship — and is eager to work with his new coaches.

“Winning the Memorial Cup helped a lot,” Jarry said. “That's something that you can't take away, and it's something that not every kid gets to experience. I'm very lucky to have experienced that.”

Jarry will return to Edmonton for next season. After that, he figures to receive at least one season of tutelage at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL.

The Penguins know Jarry isn't NHL ready, but Bales said he believes it is only a matter of time.

“We want talented hockey players who happen to be good people in this organization,” Bales said. “Tristan happens to be both of those things.”

Bales appreciates Jarry's style. Most NHL goaltenders play the butterfly style, but Jarry plays his own brand. There are butterfly elements, but he remains more upright than most goaltenders of his generation.

Bales isn't about to change him.

“Tristan is a little different,” he said. “He has something of a throwback style. He definitely stands up more than most guys do. He's no cookie cutter. But that's not a bad thing. He's got great hockey sense, and that will help him into the NHL.”

Jarry might someday replace Marc-Andre Fleury in the Penguins' net. He already shares a trait: Like Fleury, Jarry enjoys wandering from his net on occasion, to the chagrin of the home fans.

“There are people in the stands at every level of hockey who would prefer the goalie stay in the net,” Bales said with a laugh, acknowledging Fleury's occasional adventures away from the net. “Tristan has good instincts. He handles the puck well.”

Bales said it's “impossible to project” when Jarry will be ready for the NHL, but he is familiar with Penguins coach Mike Johnston. Jarry played many times against Portland, Johnston's old team.

“There have been ups and downs for me,” Jarry said. “I'm just trying to learn as much as I can right now.”

Note: Penguins right wing Pascal Dupuis was present Wednesday at prospect camp at Consol Energy Center, skating in drills with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar. Dupuis still is wearing a brace on his surgically repaired knee but showed no discomfort while skating for the first time since the procedure.

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jyohe@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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