NHL Rumors and News: Connor Bedard ELC, and Tristan Jarry injury update

Whether you are into NHL Rumors, exciting trade proposals, or want to know if your favorite player still has a contract, here’s a breakdown of some interesting NHL news for June 18, 2023.

Connor Bedard signs first NHL contract

For a significant period leading up to the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, the hockey community knew that teenage phenom Connor Bedard would be the conscious number one pick. Ultimately, the only surprise before the draft would be which franchise had secured the chance to draft him. As a result of the NHL Draft Lottery, the Chicago Blackhawks, who finished with the third worse record, won the lottery and made Bedard the latest first-overall pick.

On Monday morning, they officially welcomed him to the team by signing the 18-year-old to his entry-level deal, providing the young man a yearly salary of $950k. Of course, that’s his cap hit and includes no bonuses for play or endorsements. Since last August, he’s been one of the faces of BioSteel, along with reigning MVP Connor McDavid. 

In preparation for Bedard’s arrival in the Windy City, the Blackhawks have been busy in free agency, acquiring a handful of veteran players like Taylor Hall, Nick Foligno, and Corey Perry. Ultimately, their experiences will assist Bedard as he prepares to play in the league as a teenager. 

The curious case of Tristan Jarry and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ netminders

nhl trade rumors penguins
Jan 24, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defensemen Kris Letang (58) and Brian Dumoulin (8) and goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) protect the net and defend New York Rangers center Ryan Strome (16) during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. Pittsburgh won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

According to PittsburghHockeyNow, rumors were circulating that Pittsburgh Penguins’ Tristan Jarry had a significant hip injury. However, new general manager Kyle Dubas re-signed the netminder to a five-year deal worth $26.8 million and a modified no-trade clause. Interestingly, Dubas kept busy after the agreement by signing Alex Nedelijkovic and Marcus Hellberg. 

Although the team already has Casey DeSmith in a backup role, he’s making $1.8 million this year, while Nedelijkovic is now making $1.5 million. So, if the Penguins’ management team is concerned about Jarry’s injury history, they have had an interesting way of telling the fanbase about it. 

Statistically, most teams in the NHL employ a 1A and 1B when it comes to goalies, with the top guy getting more starts. Realistically, the days of a netminder carrying a team for 60-70 games are long gone because of how the position has evolved. Sure, there are still some exceptions to the rule, like Connor Hellebuyck and Andrei Vasilevskiy, but Jarry has only played more than half the season (41) on just two occasions. 

Even though the team gave him the top spot after parting ways with Matt Murray, who the team kept after dumping Marc-Andre Fleury, clearly, with these signings, they don’t believe that Jarry can be the bona fide goalie they need to capture another Stanley Cup. Ultimately, if they believed in him, there would be no reason to have four NHL-caliber goalies on the payroll.