2008-09: Jean-Francois Berube played behind Jake Allen (STL), a highly-touted goalie in his own right with the Montreal Juniors in his first QMJHL season. Berube caught the eyes of many despite his limited work. In 20 regular season games he had a record of 6-9 with a goals-against-average of 2.89 and a save percentage of .900.
2009-10: Berube made his pro debut following his second QMJHL season when he was assigned to the Manchester Monarchs. He posted a 2-1 record, 3.67 GAA, and .855 save percentage in 3 starts. Berube was 17-23 in 45 games for the Montreal Juniors and had a 3.03 GAA, .897 save percentage, and one shutout.
2010-11: Berube signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Los Angeles in May 2011 after a busy (and successful) third season in the QMJHL. Berube appeared in 50 games for the Montreal Juniors and his 32 wins were second-most in the league. He had three shutouts with a 2.60 GAA and .902 save percentage. Berube’s final mark of 32-15 included eight overtime losses as he kept the Juniors in the game on most nights. After finishing first in the West Division, Montreal advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Berube was 6-4 in the playoffs and had two shutouts with a 2.79 GAA and .901 save percentage.
2011-12: Berube attended camp with the Kings and made the jump to pro hockey as a 20-year-old – sharing the goaltending duties for the ECHL’s Ontario Reign with Winnipeg Jets prospect Chris Carrozzi. Berube was 17-17 with four losses coming in overtime and had 4 shutouts with a 2.87 goals against and .907 save percentage. The Reign finished first in the Pacific Division but were upset by Idaho in a tight, five-game first round playoff series. Berube played in four of five playoff games and was 1-2 with a 3.20 goals against and .878 save percentage.
2012-13: Berube played two AHL games with the Kings AHL affiliate in Manchester, spending most of his second pro season with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign. He appeared in one January game and one March contest with the Monarchs and was 0-2 with a 4.32 goals against and .870 save percentage. Berube split time with one-time Jets’ prospect Chris Carrozzi during the regular season for Ontario before starting all 10 playoff games for the Reign. He was 15-6-2 with 1 shutout and had a 2.24 goals against and .910 save percentage in 24 regular season games. Ontario reached the second round in the playoffs and Berube was 6-4 with 1 shutout; posting a 2.07 goals against and .914 save percentage.
2013-14: Berube appeared in 48 games for Los Angeles AHL affiliate Manchester in his third pro season. He was 28-17-2 with three shutouts and had a 2.37 goals against and .913 save percentage. The Monarchs finished first in the Atlantic Division but were defeated by Norfolk in four games in a best-of-five first round playoff series. Berube was 1-3 with one shutout and had a 1.67 goals against and .936 save percentage in four playoff games. He was tendered a qualifying offer by the Kings and re-signed to a two-year contract as a restricted free agent in July 2014.
Berube is a big butterfly goaltender who was originally drafted in 2009 and has emerged as a prospect through persistence and attrition as higher profile goalies have come and gone through the Kings' organization. He is always square to the shooter and moves quickly between the pipes. After splitting time in the ECHL in his first two pro seasons, he emerged as a prospect playing for Los Angeles AHL affiliate Manchester in 2013-14. The biggest strengths of Berube's game are his positioning and technical skills — which have steadily matured since his junior days in the QMJHL.
Berube attended training camp with the Kings and was assigned to AHL affiliate Manchester at the start of the 2014-15 season. Now in his fourth pro season, he has been even better in his second season with the Monarchs than he was in his breakout AHL rookie season. With Jonathan Quick firmly entrenched as the starter in Los Angeles and Martin Jones a capable backup who has paid his dues, Berube may have to head elsewhere to get his first NHL opportunity. His progress suggests he is getting closer to cracking that level. While his potential as a starter may be limited, his progress to this point is a testament to his self-confidence; a key attribute for any goalie.