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Former Black Bear Jeremy Swayman’s pro career is off to a great start

University of Maine alumni Jeremy Swayman has had an impressive start to his pro career with the Boston Bruins organization. Former goalie for the UMaine men’s ice hockey team, Swayman was selected by the Bruins with the No. 111 pick in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL entry draft. The Bruins drafted Swayman with hopes he would progress at UMaine and one day be able to contend for the starting goalie job in Boston. So far it seems as though Swayman is on track.

Throughout Swayman’s college career he showed big improvement year to year in his three years in Orono. His final year as a collegiate athlete saw him become a dominant player. As a third-year Swayman took home the Mike Richter award, which goes to the best goalie in the NCAA, as well as finishing top three in the Hobey Baker award voting which goes to the best college hockey player. Swayman racked up an impressive 0.939 save percentage, and a 2.07 goals against average for the Black Bears. Swayman was a big reason UMaine finished top 4 four in Hockey East and helped put UMaine in a great position to qualify for the NCAA national tournament for the first time since 2012.

Swayman decided to leave UMaine despite having a year left of college eligibility to start his professional career with the Boston Bruins organization. So far Swayman has continued to be the dominant player he was at the college level. In eight starts for the Providence Bruins, Swayman has picked up seven wins and only has one loss on his record.

Swayman made his professional debut on February 4, for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL). The AHL is the league situated under the NHL. Most prospects play in the AHL before being called up to the NHL. In his first career start Swayman stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced en route to a  4-1 victory against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Swayman won the first seven games he started.

Swayman’s first shutout came on March 10 against the same team he picked up his first win against, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Thus far in his career Swayman has a 7-1 record, a 0.932 save percentage and a goals-against average of 1.88 –– quite outstanding numbers for a rookie in a competitive league. Swayman ranks third in the AHL in goals against average, fourth in wins, and fourth in save percentage. The fact he is top four in all of the major goalie stats is remarkable given his rookie status, but as UMaine fans know Swayman is a special talent and it’s not too surprising to see him have success.

With Swayman’s great start along with the Bruins dealing with a minor injury to starting goalie Tuukka Rask, it is possible we may see Swayman get a start for the Boston Bruins this year. Even if not, Rask is 34 years old and backup Jaroslav Halak is 35, so Swayman’s play has planted him firmly as the leading candidate to be the Bruins’ future goalie.

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