(Photo Credit: Rich Graessle/Getty Images)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

The tandem of Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark isn’t the only goaltender duo in the Boston Bruins organization. The Providence Bruins, Boston’s American Hockey League affiliate, has a netminder tandem of their own. As of Thursday morning, that pairing of Brandon Bussi and Michael DiPietro appears to be set in stone for the remainder of the season as Kyle Keyser was assigned to the organization’s Maine Mariners of the East Coast Hockey League.

Keyser, who has appeared in just two games this season with Providence, has posted a 0-1 record with a 4.41 goals-against average and a .842 save percentage. With the emergence of Bussi and DiPietro, Keyser will transition back to the ECHL, where he will most likely finish the season. The 24-year-old undrafted free agent has bounced around the AHL and ECHL, having stints in both leagues for his last four seasons. In the 2021-22 season with Providence, he made 33 starts, the most in his professional career, posting a 2.75 GAA and a .908 SV%. Since then, his usage has significantly declined amidst the introduction of Bussi the very next season.

As for Bussi, this transaction solidifies his position as the next goaltender recalled to the NHL under any circumstance. The 25-year-old undrafted free agent has made 18 starts in Providence this season, holding a 3.00 GAA and a .901 SV%. Earlier this month, Bussi was recalled to Boston on an emergency loan basis but quickly returned to the AHL. Bussi, standing at 6’4″and 218 pounds, is highly dynamic for his size, showcasing his lateral quickness and agility throughout this season in Providence.

Bussi has made most of the team’s starts in between the pipes. However, DiPietro’s numbers are slightly better. He’s made 12 starts this season en route to a 2.65 GAA and a .909 SV%. DiPietro was a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, who was later dealt to Boston for Jack Studnicka in October of 2022. With the future of Ullmark looming in the air in Boston, Bussi and DiPietro will continue to make their respective cases to be the next goalie in line for a backup position at the NHL level.