Tristan Jarry – Goaltender – Edmonton (WHL) – 6’2 – 172lbs. – Shoots L – April 29, 1995

2012/13 Statistics: 27GP – 3 Assists – 1495 Minutes – 40GA – 6 Shutouts – 1.61 GAA – .936S%

Behind Brossoit

Calgary flames prospect Laurent Brossoit plays a huge role in the story of Tristan Jarry’s path to the NHL draft.

Jarry was the back-up to Brossoit, who is headed pro this year, for two amazing runs for the Oil Kings. Surrounded by a strong, deep team, Brossoit lead Edmonton to two straight trips to the WHL finals, resulting in one championship in Jarry’s rookie year.

In Jarry’s time with the Oil Kings, Brossoit has posted a 75-21-11 record with a 2.36 goals against average, eight shutouts, and a .915 save percentage. A former sixth round pick himself, Brossoit’s presence in net was more about his own maturity and success than it was any kind of shortcomings on the part of Tristan Jarry.

This year, Brossoit forfeited a few games early in the season because of some struggles and then later on in December while he was auditioning for a spot on the Canadian national team. The result was Jarry stepping in and delivering key performances against some strong teams.

Although a larger sample size of games would be fantastic, Jarry had the opportunity to shadow another young player who had been through the draft, been through the rigors of the playoffs, and handled the pressure of being a starter on a team laden with expectations. The results seem to have paid off, as Jarry’s performances this year were as sound as they come.

The key here is that Jarry will be inheriting the crease of a team that is less talented than the one Brossoit was blessed with. Not only are Penguin fans going to be getting a view of a prospect handling his first real workload, but it’ll be on a team that is taking a step back in terms of overall skill level.

Intangibles and Pedigree

Jarry has been groomed from the age of seven years old to be a goaltender and it shows in his on-ice performance. Already the same height as Penguins’ goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Jarry uses his size, patience, and athleticism that harkens back to a real old-school style of goaltending.

Jarry’s game showcases a long list of intangibles. There’s an inherent pedigree to his time in the crease. He appears seasoned, his approach his very patient and virtually every scout has praised his ability to rebound from goals regardless of the situation.

Jarry is extremely positional, but also very athletic. It’s a fantastic combination of instinct and size. Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of the games I watched Jarry play was his ability to just find and stop the puck in scramble situations around the front of the net. He’s extremely intuitive and patient even in the most desperate of situations. His athleticism allows him to cover large areas of the net in very short periods of time. His cross crease movement is elite.

Jarry also owns the bottom part of the net. This is perhaps to a fault, as he seems to have been easily beaten on several occasions this year because he dropped to the ice too early. Also, this can create rebound control issues that garner some decent chances in key scoring areas.

Perhaps the most exciting element of his game is his ability to play the puck and his comfort level in doing so. He’s adept at coming out of the net and only does so in situations that are low-risk.

As far as mechanics are concerned, the Penguins are getting a good goaltender. This is a young man that has refined his position at a young age.

Good Enough For Second

I asked a friend of mine who does some amateur scouting if Jarry’s lack of games was of any concern for him.

“Not really, it’s good enough for me to put him right behind Zachary Fucale.”

I tend to agree after watching the large body of Jarry’s work this season.

Goaltending is extremely difficult to gauge when looking at prospects. In fact, there are some NHL teams that haven’t even gotten it right with the pros yet, ut watching Jarry’s demeanor in and out of games gives you almost a professional kind of vibe.

For the Penguins, this is a project. Jarry still has two years of eligibility at the WHL level and will likely need it. While he was able to double his minutes this year, and earn six shutouts in the process, some patience is required here. I think, at worst, Jarry’s trip to the National Hockey League is four years, perhaps a bit longer. But despite the signing of Eric Hartzell and the talent he brings, the Penguins simply do not have a thoroughbred goaltending prospect like Jarry within the system.

The Penguins are going to find out how short that road might be as Jarry steps into the role of starter this year, but more importantly, they’re going to get a great gauge of his ceiling. I think that, at worst, Jarry is a goaltender that projects into a guy that can start NHL games for you with regularity. If things go well, you could see him develop into the next Carey Price.

Overall, this is a grade A selection for Pittsburgh. It addresses an organizational need and, with the story on Marc-Andre Fleury well documented, it also gives them a cheap, internal option for netminder should things deteriorate in that regard with the parent club.