Over the past two seasons, the Boston Bruins have had one of the best goalie tandems in the NHL.
This offseason, however, Jaroslav Halak will be a free agent and is expected to be a popular name on the market. While the Bruins will try to retain Halak, they will also have Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk, and Anders Bjork looking for new deals.
If Halak does depart, the Bruins do have an option in Providence in the form of Daniel Vladar. Despite the uncertainty, the Bruins’ future in net beyond Tukka Rask looks promising as Jeremy Swayman has taken home some impressive hardware as of late.
The Bruins took Swayman in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Draft. He signed an entry-level deal with the Bruins last month after finishing off arguably the best season of his college career. In 34 games this year for the University of Maine, Swayman went 18-11-5. The Anchorage native only allowed 2.07 goals per game and had a save percentage of .939.
— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) December 1, 2019
Additionally, the Bruins prospect faced the second-most shots in the NCAA. Although Maine finished 15th overall, Swayman had a career-high in wins and made 1,099 saves. Swayman also made 782 conference saves, which was the most in Hockey East since the 2010-11 season. His overall save percentage of .939 was the second-best in the nation; Swayman had 25 games with at least 30 saves.
Due to his incredible season, Swayman won the 2020 Mark Richter award, which is awarded to the nation’s top Division I college goaltender. He also finished second for the Hobey Baker award, which is given to the top overall college player. For Swayman, it marks the end of a remarkable college career; earlier this season, he was named the 2019-20 Hockey East Player of the Year.
The most saves in @collegehockey (1,099)
Second in the NCAA with a .939 save percentage.
25 games of at least 30 saves, including five outings with at least 40 stops.
— Hockey East (@hockey_east) March 19, 2020
The Bruins, like the rest of the world, are waiting to see how the COVID-19 pandemic plays out after everyday life and sports have been put on hold. The Bruins already knew that they had work to due as Tuukka Rask only has one year left on his current deal. Beyond Rask, however, the future is uncertain.
After being plagued by injuries throughout his career, Vladar was able to stay healthy in 2019-2020 but will need a new contract. In net, the Bruins also have Max Lagace, who will be a free agent, and Kyle Keyser, who battled injuries in his first season as a pro.
Due to their uncertainty, the addition of Swayman is a needed boost. Although the future is uncertain, Swayman is prepared to embark on his career as a pro after a season he will never forget.