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Bruins netminder shares the story of how he was almost a Maple Leaf


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Mike Armenti
August 19, 2023  (10:58)
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I'm sure that nearly every NHL player has a story of 'close, but not quite'. Most have experienced a situation where their NHL career narrowly avoids going down a very different path. For some, it comes down to a free agency decision, for others it comes in the form of a trade, but for Boston Bruins netminder Jeremy Swayman, his "almost" story occurred at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Swayman shared a story about where he thought for sure he was going to land at that draft during a recent appearance on the Empty Netters Podcast. He was convinced that he would be a Leaf, and not a Bruin.

Heading into the 2017 NHL Draft, Swayman played for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL. In his draft season, Swayman posted a record of 7-18-3, a rather unimpressive total, but during that year he also secured a save percentage of .914 and a 2.90 goals against average. Both extremely impressive numbers on a losing team.
Heading into the draft, Swayman confirmed that he hadn't received much interest, but one team in specific maintained constant contact. That team was the Toronto Maple Leafs. As day 2 of the draft continued on, the Leafs owned pick #110. When that pick arrived and Swayman was still available, he thought his name might be called. The Buds, instead, opted for Prince Albert Raiders goaltender Ian Scott.
"The fourth round came and Toronto was up 110 and they picked a goalie. It was like ‘Alright, maybe not this year,' that kind of thing. Kind of bummed but at the same time hopeful still cause I talked to other teams."

The disappointment wouldn't last more than a few minutes before the Boston Bruins selected him one pick later, at pick 111. Swayman went onto detail the moment he found out he'd been selected.
"I get a text and it's from my buddy actually from Alaska. He was at the draft and he said ‘Congrats Sway' and I'm like ‘What?'

My phone starts blowing up and it's real. Finally, I'm like reloading this thing on and on and on and it shows up. We had a pretty good celebration. It was totally unexpected which is the coolest part, I think. You're so devastated for one second and the next second it's like a new world opens up. That was a pretty cool experience to share with them, and I'm glad it turned out the way it did.

Since being drafted Swayman has done nothing but continue to improve and he looks to take a huge step this year. Last season Swayman shared the Jennings Trophy with teammate Linus Ullmark. This season however, Swayman hopes to take a significant step forward and becomes an everyday starting goalie as he looks to enter his prime.
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Bruins netminder shares the story of how he was almost a Maple Leaf

Who will win more games for their respective team this season between Jeremy Swayman and Ilya Samsonov?

Ilya Samsonov12769.4 %
Jeremy Swayman5630.6 %
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