The Boston Bruins pipeline for between-the-pipes prospects is puck promising.
Alliteration aside, our The Cup and the Crease series will now explore a few of those “potential puckstoppers with promise” who could play a pivotal part of the B’s contending for a Cup in the future.
And since we’ve already explored the possibilities of a Boston crease filled and/or shared by Jeremy Swayman and/or Dan Vladar at some point next season, let’s go to Providence and beyond to examine, in their OWN words, who could be the next netminder up for the Bruins.
The “Key” to a bright Bruins goaltending future may already be shining and ready for unlocking sometime soon in the form of 22-year-old Kyle Keyser.
Here’s what the confident former Oshawa General of the OHL said during an interview for the B’s In The System series after playing in his most recent team rookie camp: “I’ll never forget my first set of goalie pads I got when I was five. As I soon as I got that ability to go out on the ice, and go out there skating, I took full advantage.”
Keyser considers his “advantages” in net to be his knowledge of the game, his maturity and his experience coming through the Ontario Hockey League: “I’m really happy with my progression. It’s a difficult league. You’re playing against the best players in the world [for their age].”
Ever gregarious for a goalie, Keyser continued: “I want that pressure of having to get better every night, having to do my best against the best players in order to give my team a chance to win.”
That chance, for him, could be only a year or two away but whenever it arrives in Boston (he hopes), Keyser says he’ll be ready: “The Bruins got a hard-working kid… they’ve shown the confidence in me and I’m going to show my confidence [in net] to them.”
The toll booths on the pike leading into Boston may be gone, but there’s another “Booth” who’s paid his toll in the QMJHL, ECHL and the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL system named Callum that the B’s could call upon in the future.
Signed as a free agent by Boston in October of 2020, Callum Booth has never really had the opportunity to shine for any team in the B’s organization just yet. Hampered by injuries, Booth hopes to showcase the skill that got him picked 93rd overall in 2015 (4th round of the NHL draft) when he most likely splits a portion of the season with Keyser in Providence next year.
Here’s what he had to say about his goaltending style and abilities just before he joined the B’s: “Seeing pucks… gets me into the game. I like [a lot of] shots. I take in information — on the ice, and off — and bring it back to my training and try to improve.”
Those improvements are something the youngster from Quebec continually focuses on, whether it’s in an elite prospect competition or an everyday team practice: “Have it help you, every day. There’s such amazing talent [at this level]. You gotta have fun being a part of it. Work hard and enjoy every day.”
Booth hopes to get many days like that in 2021-22 for the Baby B’s, at least enough to impress the Boston brass with his talents and efforts, not to mention his competitive experience in net.
After all, management’s experience and decision about the future of the crease for the Bruins should take time and be timely, especially with all this “up-and-coming” puck promise between the pipes!