Penguins sign goalie Tristan Jarry to 2-year contract
The Penguins took care of their lone remaining restricted free agent Thursday, signing goalie Tristan Jarry to a two-year contract.
The deal has an average annual salary of $675,000.
The first year of the deal is a two-way contract, paying Jarry a fraction of his NHL salary when he’s in the AHL. The second year is a one-way contract, paying him his NHL salary no matter where he plays.
Jarry, 22, does not require waivers to be sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season. He will have to clear waivers to be sent down after that.
Jarry went 14-6-2 with a 2.77 goals-against average and .907 save percentage last season in the first extensive NHL action of his career.
For a number of reasons, Casey DeSmith looks to have the inside track on a roster spot as Matt Murray’s backup at the start of the season. Most notably, DeSmith was more effective than Jarry in limited NHL duty last season, going 6-4-1 with a 2.40 GAA and .921 save percentage.
Also, the 26-year-old DeSmith would have to clear waivers to be sent to the minors in the fall.
Jarry remains the top goaltending prospect in the organization. A second-round pick in the 2013 draft, Jarry won a Memorial Cup with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings in 2014. In 2016-17, he was one of the top goalies in the AHL, going 28-15-1 with a 2.15 GAA and .925 save percentage.
If the Penguins need a replacement for Murray on a long-term basis, Jarry likely would get the call. He has significantly more upside than DeSmith.
Otherwise, Jarry will have to perform brilliantly in training camp to unseat DeSmith from the backup role.
Barring a trade or unexpected free agent signing, general manager Jim Rutherford’s offseason chores are complete. The team is about $1.6 million under the $74.5 million salary cap with 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies on the roster.
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.