Goaltender Tristan Jarry impresses at Pens' development camp
Penguins prospect camp marks an opportunity for young players to ask the most innocent questions.
Second-round pick Tristan Jarry set the precedent Tuesday with a question for the ages.
“Quick story,” said Penguins assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald with a grin.
“(General manager) Ray Shero said he just bumped into him. Tristan asked him if the pucks are smaller here. Guys are shooting the puck quicker than he is used to.”
Jarry, the goaltender who was the Penguins' first selection in last month's draft, may have felt overwhelmed during his first workout on Consol Energy Center ice.
The funny thing is, he didn't show it on the ice.
Jarry ignored the nerves and acquitted himself quite well. At one point late in the workout, Jarry and fellow goaltender Eric Hartzell stopped so many consecutive shootout attempts that Penguins assistant coach Todd Reirden yelled, “I think the goalies are winning this one.”
Jarry won't play in Pittsburgh for a few years, but he is delighted to be taking part in this week's prospect camp.
“It's a great organization,” he said. “I'm happy to be here. The first workout is always the hardest. But you finally get your legs back. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a little better.”
Analyzing goalies in the summer is an inexact science because they typically haven't faced many shots since spring.
Besides, the Penguins are more interested in grooming players off the ice and teaching the fundamentals of coach Dan Bylsma's system than they are gauging who looks best on the ice.
Still, Jarry's skill set was evident throughout his first workout.
“I just wanted to get the nerves out of my system,” he said.
Jarry appeared comfortable by the workout's conclusion, stuffing a number of the Penguins' top prospects on shootouts.
The 18-year-old has been in Pittsburgh for only a couple of days but said he immediately felt at home.
In fact, Western Pennsylvania reminds him of home. Jarry is from British Columbia.
“It's kind of like Vancouver,” he said. “Lots of trees. Lots of scenery. I love it here.”
Jarry won't become accustomed to the scenery in Pittsburgh for a while. While the Penguins are clearly impressed with his abilities, they will not rush Jarry to the NHL.
In fact, he doesn't figure to play here for many seasons.
“The maturation process for a goalie is just a different thing,” Fitzgerald said. “I keep going back to the word marathon. You've got to be patient with young goalies and young players. You have to nurture them. He'll play junior hockey for a couple of more years then we'll see where he is.”
Before Jarry heads back to British Columbia, the Penguins intend on getting a good look. If the goalie has more questions, they'll be answered. That is, after all, what this camp is for.
“It's been great here so far,” he said.
Notes: The Penguins' prospects will work out at 9 a.m. Wednesday. ... Prospect Anton Zlobin, a left wing, won't be available because of a shoulder injury. ... The NHL schedule could be released Wednesday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. If not Wednesday, it will be released at some point this week.