Take a deep breath – you’re gonna need to be centered to absorb everything Jeremy Swayman accomplished in the 2021-22 hockey season.
The 23-year-old goaltender from Anchorage played his first full season in the NHL, which is only the best league in the world. He logged more minutes (2,390) than any Alaska goaltender in NHL history. His 23 wins for the Boston Bruins are the second-most in a single season by a NHLer from Alaska, shy only of the 25 Anchorage’s Ty Conklin racked for Detroit in 2008-09. In all he went 23-14-3 in the regular season, with a 2.41 goal-against average and .914 save percentage.
After splitting time with Linus Ullmark much of the regular season, he seized the No. 1 job two games into the Stanley Cup playoffs and started Boston’s last five games. After the Bruins were eliminated, the starred for Team USA at the World Championships in Finland.
But all of that still wasn’t quite a wrap on Swayman’s season. Tuesday night, the NHL announced he was the circuit’s masked man on its All-Rookie Team, as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. He received 190 of 196 first-place votes.
Swayman became the third Alaskan to be NHL All-Rookie, following New Jersey Devils center Scott Gomez of Anchorage in 2000 – you might remember that year as the first of two he brought this big silver chalice to Anchorage – and San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Carle of Anchorage in 2007.
Presenting the 2021-22 All-Rookie Team, as selected by @ThePHWA, which is comprised of all three Calder Trophy finalists and led in voting by the winner, Moritz Seider.#NHLStats: https://t.co/3gVilL570F pic.twitter.com/Zlp27dyoq5
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 22, 2022
Swayman also finished seventh in the Calder Trophy voting for Rookie of the Year, getting two first-place votes, three second-place votes and 14 third-place votes.
Gomez, who racked 19-50—70 totals in 82 games for the Devils as a rookie, is the only Alaskan to win the Calder.
Tuesday’s All-Rookie honor continued a run of awards for Swayman in the last four years.
In 2018, his freshman season at Maine, where he immediately seized the No. 1 job, he was voted onto Hockey East’s All-Rookie Team. In 2019, he was a third-team Hockey East All-Star. And in 2020, he was hockey East’s Goaltender of the Year, a Hockey East first-team All-Star and, oh, yeah, first-team All-American and a Hat Trick Finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s best player.
Alas, Swayman did not win a major award in 2021. All he did was make his NHL debut, so, kind of a big deal.
Swayman next season enters the final year of his 3-year, $3.15 million entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season. Provided he continues his improvement, he’ll be due a big salary bump, a reward to add to his awards.