Penguins A to Z: Is Tristan Jarry the future?

With the Penguins’ 2021-22 season coming to a quick ending in the first round of the playoffs, the Tribune-Review will offer Penguins A to Z, a player-by-player look at all 54 individuals signed to an NHL contract — including those whose deals do not begin until the 2022-23 season — with the organization, from mid-level prospect Niclas Almari to top-six winger Jason Zucker.

Tristan Jarry

Position: goaltender

Catches: Right

Age: 27

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 194 pounds

2021-22 NHL statistics: 58 games, 34-18-6 record, 2.42 goals against average, .919 save percentage, four shutouts

Contract: In the second year of a three-year contract with a salary cap hit of $3.5 million. Pending unrestricted free agent in the 2023 offseason.

Acquired: Second-round draft pick (No. 44 overall), June 30, 2013

Last season: In the days following his spectacularly horrible performance in the 2021 postseason, Tristan Jarry had a pretty simple vow.

“I will be better next year.”

By most measures, Jarry was just that throughout the 2021-22 campaign.

As the Penguins dealt with all sorts of medical-related absences throughout October and November, Jarry was largely what anchored the club through the early stages of the regular season.

And with backup Casey DeSmith struggling during the first months of 2021-22, the Penguins deployed Jarry probably a bit more often than they would have liked, but he embraced that hefty workload.

Jarry really hit a groove from mid-November until late January. After a 6-1 road loss to the rival Washington Capitals that Jarry said he took “personally,” he went 18-4-1 over his next 23 games while posting a 1.89 goals against average, a .930 save percentage and recorded three shutouts .

That stretch led to him being selected for the NHL’s All-Star Game event in February for the second time in his career.

Jarry looked a bit tired in late March and early April but appeared to get the nose pointed up during a 6-3 home win against the New York Islanders on April 14. As it turned out, that triumph was the end of his regular season as he suffered a right foot injury during the contest and was sidelined for just over a month.

Jarry missed the Penguins’ first six games of their first-round series with the New York Rangers. Despite not being fully recovered, he gutted things out with a valiant effort in Game 7 and made 26 saves on 30 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss.

The future: Just over the horizon is Jarry’s pending unrestricted free agency in the 2023 offseason. Everything seems to point to management being willing to lock him up to a multi-year contract well into his 30s.

Jarry faced a challenge this past season to get his game in order after what was arguably the low point of his professional career in the spring of 2021, and he accomplished that with the help of new goaltending coach Andy Chiodo.

Questions continue to loom over Jarry’s ability to elevate in the postseason and he didn’t get a true chance to answer them last month given his right foot injury. And until he actually gets it done in the postseason, it’s more than fair to be skeptical of Jarry in that regard.

But provided he can build on the success he enjoyed in 2021-22, there’s every reason to believe Jarry can be part of the Penguins’ long-term future.

Follow the Penguins all season long.

Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at srorabaugh@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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