Before the 2020-2021 season began, Jeremy Swayman had just finished his college career. The University of Maine product was not expected to see any time in the NHL. Due to injuries, Swayman was called upon and did not disappoint. As the Bruins were in their worst stretch of the season, their rookie goaltender provided a spark.
In ten starts, Swayman posted a .945 save percentage and recorded two shutouts. The 24-year-old also finished his first NHL stint with a 1.50 Goals Against Average. He was vital in the final two months of the regular season as Boston made their playoff push. Despite the increased pressure, he played like a seasoned veteran.
Additionally, the Anchorage native gave Boston a chance to win every time he was in the net. During the regular season, Swayman only allowed more than two goals in one start. The B’s highly regarded prospect faced 271 shots and only allowed 15 goals. His two shutouts were also tied with Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Rask for most on the team.
Swayman stepped up when the Bruins him needed the most.
Although Swayman arrived before many people expected, he was critical to the Bruins’ success. Dan Vladar was also solid as the Bruins dealt with injuries, but Swayman’s starts had a special feeling. He provided a glimpse of the future on a Boston team that has seen many changes in the last year.
While the Bruins playoff run was short-lived, the 2020-2021 campaign had some positives. Swayman’s emergence was perhaps the season’s biggest storyline. Next season he is expected to have a larger role and start the season in Boston. The Bruins netminder showed why he is a key part of the future that came sooner than expected.
In his first taste of NHL action, Swayman came as advertised and more. In the 2021-2022 season, he will be looking to build on his success. Although the Bruins have a busy offseason ahead, Swayman’s impressive debut gives Boston one less hole to fill.
Grade: A +