Prospect Watch: Jean-Francois Berube


RinkRoyalty will be reviewing the progress of Los Angeles Kings prospects every Wednesday as the season continues into full swing.

This week’s edition of Prospect Watch takes a look at goaltender Jean-Francois Berube.

The 6’1, 177 pound, 26-year-old goaltender is in his second full season with the Los Angeles Kings American Hockey League affiliate the Manchester Monarchs.

Berube played his junior hockey for the Montreal Juniors of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  Berube’s first year with the Juniors was the 2008-2009 season.  Berube played 20 games for the Juniors that year, posting a 2.89 goals against average (GAA), and a .900 save percentage (SV%).

Berube’s style as well as his quickness in the net caught the eye of professional scouts, because after one season of junior hockey Berube was drafted.  Berube was picked by the Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round, 95th overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

In 2009-2010 season Berube returned to the Juniors, though he came up to play three games for Manchester, in which Berube had a 2-1-0 record, with a 3.67 GAA, and a .855 SV%.

For the 2010-2011 season Berube played only for the Juniors.  In 50 games Berube posted 2.62 GAA, and a .902 SV%.  Every season the young goaltender from Repentigny, Quebec improved his play and his numbers.  It is a trend that has follow him into his professional career.

From 2011-2013 Berube played in the East Coast Hockey League for the Ontario Reign.  In 2011-2012 Berube posted a 2.87 GAA and .907 SV%.  The next season Berube continued to improve with a 2.24 GAA and a .910 SV%.

In 2012-2013, Berube improved his numbers in the short span of the playoffs.  Over 10 games, Berube’s numbers were 2.07 GAA, and .914 SV%, improve by 0.17 GAA, and .004 SV%.

Last year, the 2013-2014 season, Berube played exclusively for the Monarchs.  Playing in 48 games, Berube had a career year, posting personal bests in both categories, a 2.37 GAA and a .913 SV%.  Berube’s record of 28-17-0-2, put him third in the AHL in wins.  Berube also had a career high with 4 shutouts.

Jean-Francois Berube was resigned to a two-year $650,000 contract by the Kings in July of 2014.  With this signing the Kings made the decision to continue a tradition of great goaltending.  Signing Berube is part of that tradition and future that recently was re-started with the world’s best, and Kings current, goaltender Jonathan Quick.

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This season Berube is off to another great start with even better numbers, improving on his previous season, as usual.  In 14 games Berube has a record of 9-3-1-0 and 1 shutout.  In those 14 starts Berube has a GAA of 1.95, and .921 SV%.

Berube is the starter for the Monarchs now.  He’s transitioned into a leader whose record and play have helped put the team at the top of the standings in the AHL’s Eastern Conference.  Manchester is 12-4-1 with 25 points and a .735 winning percentage.

Berube’s not the biggest goaltender, but he’s quick and agile.  Lateral movement is one of Berube’s best techniques.  He can cover both sides of the net, sliding from one side to the other with superior speed.  His ability to get around and move his legs at a fast pace makes him difficult to beat down low.

In Manchester’s most recent game Berube led the Monarchs to a 3-2 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.  Berube allowed 2 goals and made 21 saves as the Monarchs were outshot 23-21.

We’ll continue to watch Jean-Francois Berube’s development and progress as the season continues, but if he continues his trend of improvement, and continues this level of play; it may not be long before we’re watching his progress as an L.A. King.

Sep 22, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Kings goalie J.F. Berube (35) defends during the second period against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports