The development camp had to be a bit frustrating for one prospect, goalie Jean-Francois Berube, who had to stand and watch after undergoing hip surgery last month. Berube, who turns 20 tomorrow, is coming off a solid junior season, one in which he had a 2.60 goals-against average, a .902 save and a 32-7-8 record for the Montreal Juniors of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Berube was one of the league’s top goalies, as was Chris Gibson, the Kings’ second-round pick this year. Berube also had a three-game regular-season stint in the AHL, with the Manchester Monarchs, and returned for the playoffs as well. With Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier at the NHL level, and Jeff Zatkoff and Martin Jones at the AHL level, Berube is likely to return for a final season in the `Q.’ Today, he talked about his recent surgery and his progress…
BERUBE: “I had hip surgery five weeks ago. It’s kind of an old injury I had, and the Kings wanted to make sure we fixed it up for my future, so that it doesn’t get worse. It’s just minor stuff that was bothering me a little bit. It was a good thing to fix it up right now.”
Question: You had strong numbers this season. What was your season like?
BERUBE: “I have to give credit to my team. We had a strong team in Montreal. That was a good year for us. Unfortunately, the playoffs didn’t go the way we wanted to, but yeah, that was a good year for me. I learned a lot, playing more, and I gained a lot of confidence.”
Question: Will you be ready for training camp?
BERUBE: “I should be fully recovered by August or the beginning of September.”
Question: You and Chris Gibson were two of the top goalies in the `Q’ last season…
BERUBE: “We had a few games we played against each other. They were always close games. He’s a good goalie. He’s really quick and it’s going to be fun to have him in the organization here. He’s a good goalie. It just helps everyone. You see the younger guys pushing, so it helps everyone.”
Question: You got a little time at the AHL level as well. What was that experience like?
BERUBE: “It wasn’t planned. I thought I would be there a lot longer. Unfortunately, in the series the wind changed direction. It’s too bad, but it’s always good to be in Manchester and see the pro guys, how they work and their habits. It was really good.”