Jeremy Swayman will enter next season armed with the knowledge required to achieve staying power.
The Boston Bruins goaltender revealed to reporters Friday the biggest lessons he learned during his debut NHL season centers around the demands of professionalism. Swayman largely has shined for the Bruins since April, when they promoted him from the AHL’s Providence Bruins. The experience he garnered off the ice by watching and learning from his veteran teammates might be as important, if not more, than what he learned during the 11 games he played in the regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs combined.
“I think the biggest thing is just preparation and recovery because a pro season is so much different than college,” Swayman said in a video press conference. “You’re going every day, it seems like, it’s either a game day or not a game day. So it’s pretty cool to see how these older guys handle themselves in and away from the rink and making sure that they come prepared every day. So that’s something that I’ll take and run with for sure.”
Prior to his call-up to Boston, Swayman played one season in the USHL with the Sioux Falls Stampede, three college hockey campaigns with the Maine Black Bears and parts of two years with the Providence B’s. However, the rhythm of those seasons is unlike anything he faces in the NHL.
Although the Bruins fell short of their ultimate goal, Swayman said he is grateful for his 2020-21 NHL experience.
“I thought it was a special year, definitely one that I’ll remember for a long time,” Swayman said. “It’s always been a dream to put on an NHL jersey, and to be with the Boston Bruins was even better. It was an awesome experience. I know that I’m super-fortunate for that, and I’ll take what I learned from this year and run with it for sure.”
Credit Swayman, 22, for his ability to learn while pucks are flying at him at high speeds from any and all directions. That can’t be easy.