BOSTON – The New England hockey circle was filled with energy on Tuesday night with the NHL debut of former UMaine goalie Jeremy Swayman.
For three years, the UMaine hockey community came to know No. 1 for his butterfly stretches, acrobatic saves and smiling disposition. On Tuesday night, the Jeremy Swayman experience was on full display for all of New England to see.
“I loved how he played, I loved how he acted, I loved how he interacted with his teammates. I think this kid has a future in the NHL,” said NESN host Dale Arnold.
Swayman’s aggressive, yet collected, approach in net served him well in his Bruins debut against the Flyers. He didn’t just earn a win–he slowed down a second period barrage on his way to a 40 save game.
“What I’ve been told he’s been used to some of those nights at Maine,” said Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy.
Swayman’s 40 saves marked the most made by a Bruins goalie in his first start since Bernie Parent back in 1965.
“He did it in kind of Jeremy fashion. He faced a lot of shots, he found a way to weather a storm and it looked like he had fun out there,” said UMaine Assistant Coach Alfie Michaud.
For the Alaskan native, the key was keeping a level head.
“My mentality throughout the game was just don’t get too high, don’t get too low,” Swayman said. “I learned that from Alfie Michaud back in Maine, and that’s going to stick with me for a long time.”
Tuesday’s performance justified a buzz that’s surrounded Swayman since he left Orono to join the Bruins organization in March of 2020. He’s played just 60 minutes in the NHL, but the Boston landscape is beginning to see what Black Bear Nation witnessed from the Mike Richter Award winner in his days at Alfond Arena.
“Word that I’ve heard from within the organization is that they think Jeremy Swayman has a legitimate chance to be a goaltender of the future,” Arnold said.
It was one moment of many that he has experienced throughout his hockey career, and one that he shares with those who skated along with him at every level.
“I’m sure all his ex-teammates and that are pumped for him cause every one of those guys, they have a little piece in it,” Michaud said.
“This game’s a team game and not an individual effort whatsoever, so the experiences I learned at Maine will of course stick with me for life, and I’m going to come to the rink everyday and be ready to learn,” Swayman said.
The Bruins will return to the ice on Thursday vs. the Washington Capitals. As of Wednesday night, there has been no announcement from the team as to whether Swayman or Daniel Vladar will start in net.