Just a few days after I posted my Bruins prospect spotlight article featuring Jeremy Swayman, Swayman decided to make the jump from the collegiate game to the pro game and signed his first pro contract with the Boston Bruins.
Time well spent
Swayman signed his pro contract after his junior season was cut short due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Swayman was awarded the Walter Brown award. The award goes to the New England’s top American born goaltender. Later that day Swayman signed his pro contract. The next day (Wednesday) Swayman was told that he was selected to be a Hockey East All Star, as well as being named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, the award given to the top NCAA men’s ice hockey player. Former winners of this award include Cale Makar, Jack Eichel, Johnny Gaudreau, Ryan Miller, and Paul Kriya. If Swayman were to win the award he would be the first goalie to win since Ryan Miller in 2001, and the third in University of Maine history. On Thursday it was announced that Jeremy Swayman won the Hockey East player of the year. The award is given to the best player in the conference each season.
Early jump could pay off
Forgoing his senior season at the University of Maine could very well turn out to be a good decision for Jeremy Swayman. Leaving now gives him more time to learn in the AHL and get more time under his belt in the pros before a real chance at a spot opens up at the NHL level. Tuukka Rask won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, although his contract is up after next season. Regardless, the starting job in the NHL shouldn’t be on Swayman’s radar just yet.
Let the games begin
There might be some movement in the goalie pond for the Bruins organization with the uncertainty of the Bruins backup goalie position after this season. If the Bruins choose not to bring back Jaroslav Halak, perhaps the Bruins might move up one of the guys currently in Providence. If that happens to be the case it will provide an immediate opportunity for Swayman to compete for time in the AHL come next season. Training camp and preseason will provide a great chance for all three Bruins goalie prospects to prove that they’re worthy of being at the NHL level.
Maxime Legace and Daniel Vladar have played most of the games in Providence this season. Bruins goalie prospect Kyle Keyser has also gotten a shot in the AHL for the first time this season, but hasn’t seen much time as he struggled on the ice. Jeremy Swayman seems to have the hot hand right now. If he can manage to ride that to next season things will get very interesting in the Bruins goaltender game. Contracts will certainly play a part, but ultimately the goalie who shows best that he’s worthy of playing time will get the most playing time. The rest will have to wait until we see what’s done with the playing time that is given. In the end, I won’t hesitate to say that Jeremy Swayman is about to shake things up quite a bit, and in a way that ends up with him being the next big thing.
Credit to boston.cbslocal.com for the featured image.