Over the past decade, it was obvious Tuukka Rask would own the blue paint for the Bruins for much of his career. So far, the Finnish netminder has etched his name into Bruins history as not only the best goalie to don the spoked-B, but one of the best players to do so as well.
But setting up an insurance policy behind Rask in case of injury or departure hasn’t been as fruitful. Sure, the Bruins have struck gold at the backup position – from Chad Johnson to Anton Khudobin and currently Jaroslav Halak. But at the prospects level, Boston hasn’t seen much production.
That is set to change in the coming years with both Dan Vladar and Jeremy Swayman in Providence. Both are just starting out, including Swayman, who signed back in March from the University of Maine. Kyle Keyser is waiting in the wings as well.
While Boston has seemingly struck gold with Swayman and Vladar, Boston’s plenty has gone wrong in the goalie searches gone by.
Here’s what went wrong:
The former Hobey Baker Award finalist showed real promise in his second season with the Providence Bruins, posting a 2.03 goals against average and a .930 save percentage. His play led to a call-up by Boston where he featured in eight games, going 0-4-1 with a 3.97 GAA and a .858 SV%.
McIntyre’s confidence at the NHL level was shot before he ever built it up, causing a steady decrease in his numbers in AHL play.
He was ultimately left to free agency in the 2019 offseason, signing with Vancouver before his subsequent trade to the New Jersey organization.
The Bruins drafted the brother of hated rival P.K. Subban in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft. With promise ahead in his career, Subban put up above average numbers in his first two seasons in Providence.
But when called to the NHL, it was obvious he wasn’t ready for the higher level of play. With the Bruins, Subban appeared in just 2 NHL games and averaged a 5.81 goals against average and a .667 SV%.
But it wasn’t Subban’s play that stunted his development, as he still put up solid numbers in the minors. Instead, it was a shot that struck him in the throat while with Providence in 2016, and Subban missed time with a fractured larynx and ultimately was claimed off of waivers by the expansion Vegas Golden Knights for the 2017-18 season.
Perhaps Boston’s most prominent goaltender prospect during the early part of the decade, Svedberg spent time as Boston’s primary backup in the 2014-15 season, performing admirably with a 2.33 GAA and a .921 SV%. His 7-5-1 record signaled the young netminder may have had some longevity.
But after becoming a free agent, Svedberg instead opted to sign in the KHL, where he was among the top players at his position. He returned to the AHL two years later but never made it back to the NHL.
Since his 2012-13 AHL season in which he produced a 37-8-2 record with 2.17 GAA, he has yet to rekindle his early success.
Though he never broke through with the Bruins, Hutchinson ended up having a decent career as an NHL backup.
His record consistently hovered around .500 and his stats at the AHL level were average. But since leaving the Bruins organization, Hutchinson has served as a backup for Winnipeg, Florida, and Toronto, playing well at times.
Consistently one of the top goalies in the NCAA at New Hampshire, the hometown product never made it to the NHL and finished his AHL career with a .905 SV% after three years and was not re-signed.