The last installment of this series is on the goalies that will play for WBS. With Antti Niemi being signed by the NHL team, Tristan Jarry will get to start the lion’s share of games down in WBS. He is not, however, the only good goalie down there.
Tristan Jarry, AHL Experience : 2 Years
Rebounding from a disappointing year in 2015/2016, Jarry put up a sparkling .925% save percentage and a 2.15 GAA as part of the Harry Holmes Memorial Award winning goaltending partnership in WBS. This elevated Jarry into getting one start in the final NHL game of the year and leading some fans to question whether or not Jarry should be given the backup role in the NHL as soon as this coming season. However, the Penguins organization understood the importance in development of goaltenders needing as many games as possible and signed veteran backup Antti Niemi to allow Jarry to remain in WBS. A goalie who is best described as a mix between Matt Murray‘s solid positional play and calm demeanor and Marc-Andre Fleury‘s penchant for acrobatic nonsense, expect Jarry to put together another great season in WBS taking the majority of the starts. What may affect this would be if Niemi falters in the NHL. Jarry would likely be brought up to back up Murray. If he remains in the AHL, another sub 2.2 GAA and .925% save percentage season are the expectations for Jarry.
Casey Desmith, AHL Experience : 2 Years
Casey DeSmith first made an impression for the WBS Penguins during the 2015/2016 season, where he signed on loan from Wheeling after Jarry was called into action in the NHL. DeSmith put together a strong regular season and started the majority of the playoffs for the Baby Penguins, earning an AHL contract for the next season. In the 2016/2017 season, DeSmith actually had slightly better stats than Jarry, managing 2.01 GAA and .926% save percentage, doing more than his fair share to earn the Harry Holmes Memorial Award. DeSmith recently signed a 2 year ELC with the Penguins and looks to split some of the starts with Jarry again having started all of the playoff games in WBS’ short playoff run this year with Jarry again serving as the backup in Pittsburgh.
If Jarry ends up in the NHL again, DeSmith has shown the ability to take on the starters workload in WBS and would assume that role. Failing that, expect a similar distribution to this year with DeSmith getting 30 or so games and putting up very similar statistics to Jarry.
Sean Maguire, AHL Experience: Rookie
Having spent all of 2016/2017 in Wheeling, Sean Maguire did manage the odd game as a backup in WBS, but never actually took the ice. The Penguins organization will be looking for Maguire to take a step forward after a bad year in Wheeling where he couldn’t even top a .900% save percentage. While playing goalie in the ECHL is no easy feat, those statistics will not gave the Penguins optimism he will be a successful professional goalie.
All is not lost for Maguire, however, as if Jarry does end up becoming a part of the NHL Penguins through injury, Maguire becomes the backup to DeSmith as the Penguins 5th and final goaltender under contract. Maguire will hope that a deep D corps in WBS will push more talent down to Wheeling and that he will be able to play better. If Maguire does make it up to the AHL, expect very limited time and stats from him.