Tommy Bennett | Follow Me On Twitter @TJBennettt37
The news that everyone has been waiting for. Don Sweeney has signed Jeremy Swayman to a new contract. It is a sigh of relief after the player is elected to arbitration. This is the first time Sweeney has gone the distance to arbitration, and the results are in.
Swayman is locked in for one year and will have an AAV of $3.475 million. This is huge for Swayman and the Bruins. With the team having more financial flexibility next summer, he can build upon his strong season and land a longer-term deal.
Swayman Stays In Boston
If there is one position for the Bruins that have been a blessing, it is goaltending. The ability to transition from Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask, and now Jeremy Swayman is a testament in its own right. Let’s also not forget that Linus Ullmark is in the fold and is coming off a Vezina Trophy-winning season. But this is all about Swayman.
Swayman is just 24 years of age. Given his level of play, he has shown the ability to be a valid number-one goalie. Not only is he the goaltender of the present, but the future as well. As the next wave and era of Bruins hockey begins, the team has their man between the pipes.
Worth Every Penny
It is not a colossal contract like Sergei Bobrovsky, but Swayman is worth every penny. Not to mention Swayman has gotten better with each passing season. The potential is there, as well as the promise of delivering.
Swayman started just ten games in the 2020-21 season. He played exceptionally well, posting a 1.50 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage. In addition, his 5.6 goals saved above expected was remarkable for his small sample size. Fast forward a season, and the real work began.
Swayman and Ullmark split the season right down the middle. Swayman finished the year with a 2.45 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. He finished slightly behind Ullmark in goals saved above expected (4.2) but went on to perform in the playoffs. Swayman proved to be the better goalie in the playoffs, which helped garner a lot of attention for the young goalie.
Enjoying the Historic Season
Things were different under Jim Montgomery. He utilized the 1A/1B goalie system well, which did wonders for the club. The entire hockey world knows about Ullmark and his season. However, Swayman had himself a season worth noting.
Swayman was out due to injury early in the season, but when he returned, he thrived the rest of the way. Swayman finished the year with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage. What stood out the most was his 24 goals saved above expected, placing him in the top ten among qualified goaltenders. In addition, his .819 save percentage in the high-danger area was eye-opening. The team in front of him was historically elite, but Swayman was still great as well and did his job. He earned Player of the Week honors in March after displaying back-to-back shutouts.
Just the tremendous growth in a short period of time is why Swayman is worth every penny on this contract.