Penguins' 1st pick in draft thinks big
NEWARK, N.J. — Marc-Andre Fleury has some competition.
At least, that is the plan by Tristan Jarry, a goalie selected by the Penguins in Round 2 of the NHL Entry Draft at Prudential Center on Sunday.
“I want to push for a job, just like he's pushing for his own job,” Jarry said. “I think that's great, the healthy competition with one another. It's just whatever you've got to do to get the job you've got to do.”
A self-described, hybrid-style goalie whose strength is handling the puck, Jarry clearly impressed Penguins scouts.
Originally, the Penguins were not to pick until Round 3 because of in-season trades for wingers Jarome Iginla and defenseman Douglas Murray, but general manager Ray Shero acquired the 50th overall selection from San Jose in exchange for right winger Tyler Kennedy.
A third-line staple for the Penguins since 2007, Kennedy was a restricted free agent and due a qualifying offer that would have kept his salary at $2 million.
Considering he began the Stanley Cup playoffs as a healthy scratch, Kennedy was worth moving for the second-round pick Shero said he coveted.
“He's done a great job here for us, helped us win a Stanley Cup,” Shero said. “Where he's at in his career, he probably needed a change — and we didn't have a first or second pick.
“We did that for both us and for Tyler.”
Shero sent the 50th and 89th picks to Columbus for the 44th selection, which the Penguins used on Jarry.
“I thought I'd go a little later, to be honest,” Jarry said of his selection.
Jarry, 18, figures to grow somewhat into his 6-foot-2, 181-pound frame. He went 26-9-1 with a 2.03 goals-against average and .921 save percentage over the past three seasons with Edmonton of the Western Hockey League.
He is no threat to supplant Fleury as the franchise goalie next season. However, management wants Fleury to make changes — specifically, his mental preparation — and put together a solid Stanley Cup playoff for the first time since the Penguins won the Cup in 2009. If not, Fleury is no lock to return for the final year of his contract in 2015-16.
Backup goalie Tomas Vokoun is signed only for next season.
The Penguins selected a center, Jake Guentzel, with the 77th overall pick. Their other picks: defenseman Ryan Segalla (119th); defenseman Dane Birks (164th); center Blaine Byron (179th); and winger Troy Josephs (209th).
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.
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