Big 10 goalie of the year signs contract with Bruins

The Bruins added another collegiate goalie to the organization's ranks on Monday

Notre Dame goaltender Ryan Bischel (30) makes the save during the Michigan State-Notre Dame NCAA game
Notre Dame goaltender Ryan Bischel (30) makes the save during the Michigan State-Notre Dame NCAA game / John Mersits / USA TODAY NETWORK

The trade deadline has come and gone in the NHL, and while the Bruins brought in a couple players in Patrick Maroon and Andrew Peeke, the big story was on who might be on their way out, Linus Ullmark in particular.

Much to he and his teammates' relief, Ullmark didn't get moved and is still with the Bruins to form one of the league's best goalie tandems with Jeremy Swayman.

On Monday, the Bruins made a move to add another goaltender to the mix next season. The Providence Bruins announced the signing of goalie Ryan Bischel to a one-year AHL contract for 2024-2025.

The signing of Bischel is similar to what the Bruins did with Brandon Bussi out of Western Michigan a few years ago, but the big difference is that Bussi was signed to an NHL entry-level contract whereas Bischel is only on an AHL deal, so he couldn't get called up unless the Bruins sign him to an entry-level deal.

The Bruins add another goalie to the mix with the signing of Ryan Bischel

The 24-year-old Bischel spent the last five seasons with the University of Notre Dame, playing as a graduate student in 2023-2024. Bischel has had a tremendous season with the Fighting Irish, authoring a .924 save percentage and 2.59 GAA in 36 starts for Notre Dame.

Bischel has been all over the awards list in the last few seasons. He was named the Big 10 goalie of the year in 2022-2023 and was on the All-Big 10 first team. He was on the watch list this past season and a semifinalist for the Mike Richter Award and was also a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award.

Bischel's presence in Providence adds to an already crowded goalie group for the Bruins. With Ullmark and Swayman in the NHL, the P-Bruins have Brandon Bussi and Michael DiPietro as their goalie tandem, with Kyle Keyser stuck either playing for ECHL Maine or sitting upstairs as a scratch in Providence. Goalie prospect Reid Dyck could also get an entry-level contract soon, currently playing for the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL.

The addition of another goalie likely re-ignites the Ullmark trade rumors in the offseason as he enters the final year of his contract in 2024-2025. Ullmark being dealt would allow Bussi the opportunity to be the backup to Swayman in the NHL, while presumably DiPietro and Bischel would handle things in Providence.

Another possibility would involve the Bruins dealing Bussi for either a solid prospect or a good enough draft pick, but that doesn't seem like a move they would be willing to make. If any goalie is going to go this offseason, it's probably going to be Ullmark.

While the Bruins could very well hang on to Ullmark, and that's something they probably should do, the signing of Bischel adds yet another goalie to an already crowded position for the Bruins right now. This could make someone like Ullmark expendable in the offseason, but you can never have too much goaltending.