Predicting Bruins’ Jeremy Swayman’s Next Contract

Signing players to their second NHL contract can be a difficult task. Whether a player has yet to consistently perform well, has performed in a small sample size, or has performed well for an extended period of time, there are a number of scenarios and situations that change the way teams and players negotiate contracts. When it comes to Jeremy Swayman, the Bruins have the team’s co-starting goalie and likely long-term franchise piece in the crease. While this is good news as a whole, the reality of the situation is that his contract is set to expire next offseason and a new contract must be negotiated.

Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins
Jeremy Swayman is due for a contract extension and the Boston Bruins would be wise to look at some comparables around the league when starting negotiations. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Though the 23-year-old netminder has only played in a total of 51 games in his NHL career, the results he’s put up have been very encouraging, to say the least. Storming onto the scene during the 2020-21 season, Swayman would start 10 games and put together a 7-3-0 record, allowing just 15 goals on 271 shots – good for a .945 save percentage and 1.50 goals-against average. He’d also put together a goals-saved above average (GSAA) of 10 that season. Though he wouldn’t put together as strong a season during the 2021-22 season, he’d still perform well in the majority of his games during his official rookie season. In 41 games, he’d put together a record of 23-14-3 with a .914 save percentage and 2.41 goals-against average with a 7.3 GSAA.

Despite the small sample size, Swayman appears to be the real deal and has been an excellent presence in the crease for the Bruins despite his lack of experience. While some second-contract scenarios may be challenging, Swayman’s next deal seems to be setting itself up perfectly, assuming he doesn’t take a major step forward or backward this coming season. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be other things to consider, but recent contracts being signed by younger goaltenders as of late could set the stage for Swayman’s deal.

Swayman’s Next Deal Dependent on Multiple Factors

If we’re looking at comparable players to Swayman as far as age, relative experience and upside, Carter Hart, Jake Oettinger and Spencer Knight’s recent extensions should be the obvious starting point for Swayman. Hart would sign a three-year contract extension that carries a $3.97 million cap hit on Aug. 9, 2021. In September of 2022, both Oettinger and Knight would sign three-year contract extensions that carry $4 million and $4.5 million annual cap hits respectively.

These contracts all feel like a fair starting point for Swayman, but his performance in the 2022-23 season could also be a big determining factor. The Bruins are hopeful that Swayman will be their long-term answer in net, but they’ll need to be sure he can provide them what they’re looking for before committing major money to the position. This is especially true with Linus Ullmark already accounting for $5 million each season through 2024-25; committing upwards of $10 million per season to the goalie position may not be what the Bruins are looking to do in the near future.

Related: Bruins Should Have Confidence With Their Goaltending Depth

Digging even further down this rabbit hole, the Bruins’ long-term outlook has to account for whether Ullmark plays with the team throughout the duration of his deal, or if Swayman makes him expendable at some point. Additionally, we have to consider the Bruins’ likelihood to compete once Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retire, whenever that may be. The team’s trajectory and cap situation will differ entirely if they commit to a quick retool, a full rebuild, or something in between. While this won’t affect the concept of Swayman getting an extension, it could change whether he gets a long-term deal or a bridge contract like many of the players in his age range recently received.

In the end, Swayman will probably be a member of the Boston Bruins for a long time, and he’ll probably sign a deal in a similar range to that of Knight, though for potentially a slight increase on his peer’s salary. The 2017 fourth-round pick has been a welcome surprise for the team sign debuting in 2021 and made the transition from a franchise netminder in Tuukka Rask to a new regime seem relatively seamless. He’s excited Bruins fans in his brief career, and there’s no reason to think he can’t continue to do so in the long run in Boston.