The fourth round of the 2017 NHL entry draft was a very important one for the Boston Bruins. Its not every day that a fourth round pick has the potential to be one of the most important an impactful players on the roster at the NHL level. Jeremy Swayman is that guy. The Bruins selected University of Maine goaltender with the 111th pick in the 2017 NHL entry draft.
Sky high potential
When the Bruins selected Swayman he was coming off of his second season in the USHL, although it was his first season seeing any playing time. In 32 games he managed a 2.90 goals per game average with a .914 save percentage. Those stats posted by Swayman weren't mind boggling, but he was only 17 at the time. After his final season in the USHL with the Sioux Falls Stampeed, Swayman then went on to play at the University of Maine where he is still playing in his sophomore season. Swaymans numbers have stayed in the same ballpark, but have improved in all three seasons so far. His games played rate has increased to 35 after only playing 31 in his freshman season.
Through his two seasons in Maine Swayman has become a very dependable goalie. He's currently second in the NCAA in save percentage with an impressive .939. Swayman also ranks 15th in goals against average with his 2.070. While in the process of putting up some of the best goaltender stats in the country, Swayman has not only become a very reliable goaltender, but he's managed to do so in highlight fashion. Swayman has managed to expertly craft the swag aspect of his goalie game. Whether is be shutting down a sniper on a breakaway, or snagging a rocket of a slapshot, Swayman has come to the point in his career that he knows other players have to beat him rather than him beating himself.
Jeremy Swayman could very well be the best goalie prospect in the Boston Bruins organization. Kyle Keyser and Daniel Vladar are both good prospects, but Swayman is showing the most potential of being a starting goaltender in the NHL. Daniel Vladar has played a good amount of games this season as well as Maxime Legace. Legace and and Vladar both have an expired contract at the end of this season. With Swayman still wanting to make his way to the pro game, there is a very good chance that Jeremy Swayman makes his way into Providence, making Legace or Vladar the odd man out. Legace would probably be the one, seeing as how there is so much youth between Vladar, Keyser, and Swayman, Although, having three goalies all under the age of 23 fight it out for two final roster spots would be rather bold of the Bruins. I think, ultimately, the two goalie spots in providence will come down to a good old fashioned battle in training camp and preseason.
Another big element in the outcome of the futures of the goalies mentioned above is the fact that Jaroslav Halak is due to be a free agent at the end of this season. The Bruins could keep all four goalies above if they don't feel comfortable paying Halak what he could potentially get on the open market. It will come down to whether or not the Bruins like what the have in the organization enough to let them fight for a backup spot in the show.
Credit to stanleycupofchowder.com for the featured photo.