Grading Linus Ullmark after another strong 2023-24 season for the Boston Bruins

What grade did Linus Ullmark get for his 2023-24 season with the Boston Bruins?
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

Entering the 2023-24 season, it was going to take a lot of work for Linus Ullmark to top the season he had in 2022-23 with the Boston Bruins. Ok, it was going to be impossible for him to do that as he had a year that would be very difficult to be repeated by anyone.

Ullmark won the Vezina Trophy after going 40-6-1 with a 1.89 GAA and a .938 SV%. When Bruins’ GM Don Sweeney signed him to a four-year, $20 million contract with an AAV of $5 million in the summer of 2021, little did anyone know how well the former Buffalo Sabres netminder would play the way he had, forming the top goaltending tandem in the league with Jeremy Swayman. This season was different and let’s take a look back and grade it.

Linus Ullmark’s 2023-24 season

Once again, Swayman and Ullmark split a majority of the games during the season with Swayman becoming the guy for the playoffs. In the regular season, Ullmark went 22-10-7 with a 2.57 GAA and .915 SV% with a pair of shutouts. He only lost back-to-back regulation games once all season in March, four days apart against the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

In the playoffs, by now, you know the run that Swayman went on a run that cemented his spot between the pipes for years to come, but Ullmark did get one full game. In the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs, head coach Jim Montgomery started with the rotation and after Swayman won Game 1, Ullmark got Game 2. He made 31 saves in a 3-2 loss and deserved a better fate and Auston Matthews scored the game-winning goal on a breakaway after a poor decision by Charlie McAvoy that allowed the 69-goal scorer during the regular season to pot the game-winner. Ullmark also came on in relief in Game 2 against the Florida Panthers in a 6-1 Boston loss and allowed two goals on 10 shots.

Linus Ullmark’s future is unclear

One of the many big questions that face Boston GM Don Sweeney this offseason is what does he do with Ullmark? He tried trading him at the trade deadline and the netminder reportedly used his power ot block the trade. Sweeney without a doubt will look to move him again over the next month before the NHL Draft and the beginning of free agency.

There are several teams in need of goaltending with the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers the first two that come to mind, along with the New Jersey Devils. What exactly Sweeney gets back if he’s delt is going to be the big question as I’m sure he would love to get an early-round draft pick or an impactful player, but in order to get the latter, he’s going to have to include other pieces in the trade. The decisions that need to be made this summer are fascinating. 

Linus Ullmark 2023-24 Grade: A-